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SPJ names Colorado newspaper as Historic Site in Journalism



For Immediate Release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ Awards Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 210,
Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Coordinator, (317) 927-8000 ext. 215,

INDIANAPOLIS—The Society of Professional Journalists announces the Silverton Standard & the Miner as a Historic Site in Journalism. The newspaper, recognized by the Colorado chapter of SPJ as a Historic Site in Journalism in 1969, is the oldest Colorado newspaper west of the Continental Divide.

The Standard is the result of a 1922 merger between two Silverton newspapers, La Planta Miner (founded 1875) and the Silverton Standard (1889). The papers have covered remarkable stories, including the shooting of a town marshal in 1881, the brutal 1902 ethnic cleansing of Chinese residents, and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19, which killed 10 percent of Silverton’s population.

When the town was cut off from the outside for several weeks due to snowstorms and avalanches, the publisher had to print the newspaper on blue wrapping paper obtained from a butcher in town.

The paper has won 34 awards from the Colorado Press Association since 2007, and continues to serve the Silverton community as a non-profit newspaper now owned by the San Juan County Historical Society. SPJ recognizes the Standard for its rich history, and perseverance as a rural newspaper for more than a century.

There will be a dedication ceremony at the site in spring 2012.

SPJ’s Historic Sites in Journalism program honors the people and places that have played important roles in U.S. journalism history. Learn more about SPJ Historic Sites in Journalism and view a list of previous sites.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information on SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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