A Brief History of the Badger Herald

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The Badger Herald founded

1969

The Badger Herald is founded by Patrick S. Korten, Nick Loniello, Mike Kelly and Wade Smith in an effort to cover campus protests and provide an alternative voice to other Wisconsin publications, including the Daily Cardinal, which took a very aggressive liberal stance.

For more Badger Herald history, go here

First issue published

September 10, 1969

First issue of The Badger Herald is published after nonstop fundraising and advertising deals with local businesses and national corporations.

Risk of bankruptcy and fundraising dinner

1971

The Herald risks bankruptcy, but conservative author William F. Buckley speaks at a successful fundraising dinner and the Herald survives.

Office moves

1975

The Herald moves its offices from 638 State St. (home of present Sunroom Café) to 550 State St. (located above the present Qdoba) in the mid-1970s.

Pattern of ultra-conservatism in opinion pieces

November 18, 1976

An editorial writer publishes an article titled “Can Africans rule themselves?” A series of ultra-conservative opinion pieces in the late 1970s sparked controversy for the Herald.

View the article here

Circulation reaches high

1980 - 1993

The paper reaches a circulation of 20,000.

Switch from weekly to daily paper

1987

Between 1986 and 1987, the Herald switched from a weekly to a daily newspaper. "The Herald had been doing very well as a weekly and had quite a lot of ad revenue," said Katy Culver, an associate professor at the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication who wrote for the Herald in various editor positions between 1986 and 1987.

Controversy after cartoon equates Cleveland Indians mascot to Sambo

1993

The Herald prints a cartoon equating the Cleveland Indians mascot to Little Black Sambo, provoking controversy. Critics say the cartoon is racist, while the Herald says the cartoon is attacking racism.

Move to current office

1998

The Herald moves to its current office on 326 W. Gorham St.

Further cartoon controversy, editor-in-chief issues apology

1999

The Herald prints a cartoon in which an African-American student is dismayed at Ward Connerly’s anti-affirmative action stance despite his being African-American. The editor-in-chief issues a front-page apology and the Opinion editor quits, feeling that the paper’s ideological pedigree had been destroyed.

Controversial David Horowitz advertisement

2001

The Herald publishes an advertisement by conservative author David Horowitz arguing against reparations for slavery for African-American citizens. This advertisement produces uproar, circulation is disrupted but the Herald editors refuse to apologize for the advertisement’s publication. This refusal to apologize is praised by the Wall Street Journal, the Wisconsin State Journal and USA Today.

Herald publishes cartoon of Muhammad

February 13, 2006

The Herald publishes a controversial cartoon of Muhammad originally published in a Danish newspaper, arguing that the image is “a vehicle of facilitation in the grand marketplace of ideas."

View the statement from the Badger Herald Editorial Board here

Herald posts advertisement for Holocaust denial organization

February 25, 2010

After the Herald posts an advertisement from Holocaust denier Bradley Smith, Editor-in-Chief Jason Smathers posts an editorial piece":http://badgerherald.com/oped/2010/02/25/uwcommunitystrong_.php arguing that the UW community is strong enough to reject the ad and the ideologies it purports to be the truth. The Board of Directors releases "an open letter in March, sharing its regret for “harm done to the Jewish community” but informing its readership of the paper’s decision to leave the advertisement up for the one month it was allowed on the Herald website.

Switch from five- to four-day circulation

November 12, 2012

The Herald makes the switch from five- to four-day circulation because decreased print edition advertisement revenue and a desire to maintain independence from the university. In a column Editor-in-Chief Ryan Rainey explains the beginning of the paper’s transition to an online news source

Herald announces online-first publication model

04/03/2013

On April 3, 2013, the Herald announced in a press release that it would be switching to an online-first publication model beginning fall 2013. In the press release, the Herald revealed it would only be publishing two print issues per week and that all freelance beat reporters would be paid.