“Journalists are notorious for cluttered desks. Looking around the newsroom today, this trait appears timeless.” — Richie Rathsack
By Richie Rathsack Record-Journal staff
For more than 150 years, reporters at the Record-Journal have pursued the news with a commitment to open government and information to empower residents with the knowledge of their government and community. That key role remains the same today, reflected in the company’s mission statement: To be the primary catalyst that motivates people to contribute to the intellectual, civic and economic vitality of our communities. Meeting that goal requires journalists to keep in touch with the trends of readers and adjust to the times. In 1988, Barbara C. White wrote an editor’s notebook
about the unique position of a privately owned news organization.
quired journalists to change some of the tools they carry to produce a story.
“We are in a unique position. We aren’t publicly owned; we are not, in spite of what a lot of our readers seem to think, a public utility. No one member of the public, no interest segment, no advertiser has the right to demand that we print something or to tell us how to print it,” White wrote. “But unless the Record-Journal is the kind of newspaper that you, our readers, want, unless it’s what you need, we won’t be in business long.”
The first edition of the Meriden Weekly Visitor, the origin of the Record-Journal, in 1867 contained no photographs and lots of small headlines.
Community news continues to be the strength of a local news organization. How we deliver that news to readers changed over time as the company adapted to the mediums people prefer when consuming news. This also re-
Photographs of President Harry S. Truman speaking in front of the former Record-Journal building in 1952 show a group of men in front of the podium furiously writing on notepads, with a few photographers standing nearby. Journalists took their notes to the office to type out a story on typewriters. A notepad and pen remain staples of a journalist, even if they are starting to become a backup to modern technology.
Record-Journal newsroom and copy desk. An old photograph from the Record-Journal archive shows a former sports editor sitting at his desk in front of a typewriter, jotting down notes on a pad off to the side. In addition to the typewriter, the desk contained a rotary telephone, correspondence letters, reference books and lots of copies of old newspapers. The first picture features our copy desk department circa 1988. Rear, from left: Bob Rocco, Howard Glazer, Doug Bevins, Ken Robinson, John Korper. Front, from left: Glenn Richter and Jack Zibluk.