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Monday, January 01, 2007

Save the SJR

Copley Newspapers announced in 2006 its intention to divest itself of several midwestern newspapers, including Springfield's State Journal-Register and the Peoria Journal Star.

Billy Dennis recently reported at the Peoria Pundit that there's a movement afoot by a group calling themselves the "Peoria Newspaper Guild" to Save the Journal Star.

That got me thinking about our own newspaper. Are the people of Springfield as passionate about their own paper as the people of Peoria? If there's a similar movement in Springfield to save the SJR, it hasn't crossed my radar.

Being the primary newspaper located in the seat of Illinois government, citizens and businesses in and around Springfield should turn a critical eye towards any prospective buyers. And, in addition to the reasons for keeping PJS local, there are some unique historical reasons for keeping the Springfield paper local, including:

  • The SJR, through it's predecessor, the Sangamon Journal, is the oldest newspaper in Illinois
  • "The Journal paper was always my friend..." wrote a young politician by the name of Abraham Lincoln
  • The Great Western Railroad station is owned by the State Journal-Register

The Great Western was the station where Abraham Lincoln departed Springfield to take office as the President of the United States. It is the station where he gave his touching farewell address. It is the station to which he would never return.

The station, located at the Tenth Street tracks and Monroe Street, is owned by the State Journal-Register. The salaries of the U.S. Park Rangers who operate it are funded by the paper. The paper and its proprietors have done an excellent job of maintaining and keeping alive the memory of Springfield's smallest, but most important, passenger station.

What will become of this treasure when the newspaper is sold?

Extra: Some photos I recently shot of the station.

Posted by Marie at January 1, 2007 5:11 PM


Good Luck saving it, if it needs it. I used to want to be a journalist, and while I don't have a fondness for the people, the medium still holds a place in my heart. It's dying slowly, though.

Posted by: ben at January 1, 2007 7:02 PM


The paid journalist gig is getting much harder to get at traditional news print media, but there's still room for you.

There are millions of journalist keeping online journals now too - most as we all know don't pay.

Good question Marie.

The State, or a NGO could buy the station - and should if SJ-R sells it. It's a national treasure.


Posted by: jeromeprophet at January 2, 2007 6:16 PM