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Statesman Journal
Statesman Journal front page.jpg
The July 27, 2005 front page of the
Statesman Journal
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner Gannett Company
Publisher Steve Silberman[1]
Editor Bill Church
Founded 1851
(as the Oregon Statesman)
Headquarters 280 Church St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
 United States
Circulation 46,826 M-Sa
53,367 Sunday
ISSN 0739-5507
Official website

The Statesman Journal is the major daily newspaper published in Salem, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1851, the Oregon Statesman later merged with the Capital Journal to form the current newspaper, the second-oldest in Oregon. Serving Salem, Keizer, and much of the mid-Willamette Valley, it has an average daily circulation of 46,826 from Monday through Saturday and a Sunday readership of 53,367.[2]



The Oregon Statesman was founded on March 28, 1851, by Asahel Bush, a Democrat, in response to the Whig-controlled Portland-based paper, The Oregonian.[3] Congressional delegate Samuel Thurston assisted Bush in starting the newspaper while Thurston was in Washington, DC.[4] Printed using a hand press, the paper was originally based in Oregon City, but moved to Salem in June 1853 when the Oregon State Capitol was relocated to that city.[3][4] The paper was used as a mouthpiece of the Democratic Part and of the Salem Clique that ran the party in Salem.[4]

In March 1863, Bush sold the paper and entered the banking field.[3] The name of the paper was changed to the Salem Statesman and became less of a partisan newspaper.[4] In 1866, the Statesman ceased publication, only to resume in 1869 under the guidance of editor Samuel A. Clarke and under the new moniker of The Statesman and Unionist.[4] The Unionist portion was removed from the name within a short amount of time, and in 1884 R. J. Hendricks became the paper's manager and editor, positions he held for 44 years.[4] Also in 1884, ownership passed to Jasper Wilkins and Alonzo Gesner, with Gesner selling out his part within a year.[5] Will H. Parry established the Capital Journal on March 1, 1888, initially as a for-profit venture and an outlet for the Republican Party.[6] Parry sold the Journal by the end of the year, one of many ownership changes in subsequent years.

Around 1918, George P. Putnam purchased the Capital Journal and served as editor for 30 years before selling to Bernard Mainwaring in 1953.[3] Meanwhile, Charles A. Sprague, who went on to become governor of Oregon, bought the Statesman in 1929.[3] In 1954, Mainwaring and Sprague agreed that their respective papers should cooperate closely.[6] The Journal moved into the Statesman's new facility and the two papers began sharing printing facilities while keeping independent writers and editors.[3]

In 1973, both papers were sold to national publisher Gannett, the company that publishes USA Today.[6] In 1980, they were combined to form the Statesman Journal.[3] Dating to the Statesman's inception, it is the second-oldest Oregon newspaper.[3] The paper won ten first-place awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest in 2001, the most in its division.[7] In the 2006 contest, the paper took first place in its division for overall excellence, best editorial page, and best editorial.[8] In July 2008, Steve Silberman was named the publisher of the newspaper.[9]


The newspaper primarily covers news in the Salem-Keizer metropolitan area in the middle section of the Willamette Valley.[10] Coverage includes state politics, Salem area news, area sports, business news, and lifestyle news. Circulation is focused on Marion and Polk counties with a market size of 323,3000 residents, with some additional circulation in neighboring Linn, Lincoln, Yamhill, and Benton counties.[10] The Statesman Journal has an average daily circulation Monday through Saturday of 46,826 readers.[2] The Sunday readership is 53,367.[2] The newspaper also operates the website along with The Stayton Mail of Stayton and the Appeal Tribune of Silverton.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "About Gannett: Statesman Journal". Gannett Co., Inc.. Retrieved 2006-10-30.  
  2. ^ a b c "Statesman Journal". Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Retrieved 2008-08-06.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Mersinger, Monica (2006). "Statesman Journal Newspaper". Salem Online History. Salem Public Library. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f Corning, Howard M. (1989) Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing. p. 186.
  5. ^ Daily Oregon Statesman, March 7, 1912, 1:6 & 4:5.
  6. ^ a b c "Statesman Journal Company Profile". Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  7. ^ Strupp, Joe (May 20, 2002). "10 That Do It RIGHT". Editor and Publisher Magazine.  
  8. ^ "Statesman Journal". 2006 Better Newspaper Contest. Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  9. ^ "'Statesman Journal' Appoints New publisher". The Associated Press. July 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  10. ^ a b c "Statesman Journal: Market Profile". Statesman Journal. 2005. Retrieved 2008-09-07.  

External links

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