Power of the Press

Brandie Richardson

     Oct. 4-10 marks the 75th anniversary of National Newspaper Week –  a week dedicated to showing the importance of newspapers and its relevance to the community each paper serves. 

     Not only do newspapers serve as a way of finding local and national information, they also provide information on community events, public meetings, and acknowledgments on good deeds in the community and celebrations of community members achievements.

     Newspapers have been around long before social media, television, and even radio. The origins of the first newspaper date back to the 16th century. First documentation of a newspaper in North America was published by Benjamin Harris in 1690, titled Publick Occurrences. This newspaper was short lived however, as it was published without permission, thus causing all copies to be destroyed.

     It wasn’t until 14 years later that newspapers began to reappear. A weekly publication called The Boston News-Letter began printing in 1704. Shortly after more publications began surfacing in the colonies, beginning with Pennsylvania and New York.

     Here in Ascension Parish, the history of Gonzales Weekly Citizen began its first publication in 1920, with the Donaldsonville Chief being the oldest newspaper in Ascension Parish, dating back to 1871.