Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Journalism Quarterly 60:3 (Autumn 1983), pp. 524-528. Copyright (c) 1983 AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication).


Until the death of Col. Robert McCorrnick in 1955, the Chicago Tribune was known as a staunch opposition to change, following an editorial policy of ultraconservatism. During his 45-year tenure, McCormick's distinctive editorial policies and style often ran counter to public opinion, and he kept his positions even when opposition came from his own copy editors. But, those personal policies, McCormick himself said, would continue with his successors, because they understood the principles, policies, and ideals of the Tribune. The subsequent change of editorial authority to William D. Maxwell in 1955 and then to Clayton Kirkpatrick in 1968 raises some questions as to how much the editorial policy changed with each new editor. That is, did the editorial patterns in the Tribune vary with each editor? Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe and to compare the similarities and differences in editorial patterns in the Tribune during the editorships of McCormick, Maxwell, and Kirkpatrick. Another purpose was to determine the issues stressed by each editor.