The Shreveport Journal was a Monday-through-Saturday newspaper published between January 7, 1895 and March 30, 1991, in Shreveport, the largest city in north Louisiana. Throughout its existence, The Journal was in competition with the still published Shreveport Times. During its existence at 222 Lake Street, The Journal shared the physical plant and printing press with The Times though the two newsrooms were separate and independent.
The Journal began as The Judge under the ownership of J. E. Goodwin. The name "the Journal" was not adopted until February 17, 1897. Ownership changed frequently in the early years. William E. Hamilton purchased the paper about 1900 and operated it until 1911, at which time it was acquired by the Journal Publishing Company, with A. J. Frantz as the president and Douglas F. Attaway, Sr., as secretary. In 1918, Attaway acquired controlling interest and in 1925 became the president and publisher. Upon Attaway's death in 1957, his son,the late Douglas F. Attaway, Jr., became president and publisher. A journalism graduate of the University of Missouri, Attaway from 1966 until 1979 was the chairman of the board of KSLA-TV, the CBS affiliate and the first television outlet in Shreveport, having begun in 1954. Attaway sold KSLA to Viacom. He was also a former chairman of the board of Newspaper Production Company and the Attaway Newspaper Group, Inc.
In 1974, two years before he sold The Journal to the Shreveport industrialist and philanthropist Charles T. Beaird, Attaway recruited Stanley R. Tiner from The Times to become the editor of The Journal. In time, Tiner, who was born in Webster Parish, reared in Shreveport, and a graduate of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, and Beaird, who served a term as a Republican on the former Caddo Parish Police Jury, moved the editorial position of The Journal far to the political left, whereas it had been clearly conservative and earlier segregationist under Attaway and a previous editor, George W. Shannon.
In 1972, Attaway wrote an article on a total eclipse, the phenomenon in which the moon totally blocks out the rays of the sun, which occurred on July 10 of that year. Attaway and his long-term photo editor, Jack Barham, who continued in that position under Beaird, traveled to New York City to observe the two-minute eclipse, having found their desirable spot of view under the Verrazano Bridge
The Times and the Shreveport Journal shared a building at 222 Lake Street, although they were separately owned and editorially independent.
Closure in 1991
Beaird announced the closure of The Journal on January 29, 1991, to give employees two months notice before the effective date of termination on March 30. He explained that the publication had lost circulation and advertising revenues during the preceding decade from a high of nearly 40,000 to barely 16,000. Beaird did not comment on the possibility that his liberal editorial views, new to the older readers, had been a factor in the decline in circulation. "There just comes a time when it becomes uneconomical to go on. It was a very tough, sad decision," he said."Shreveport Journal ends publication after 96 years",
Though The Journal had closed as a daily paper in 1991, Beaird contracted an agreement with The Times to carry on the op-ed page the so-called "Journal Page", adorned with Beaird's favorite flower, the rose, allowing continuing editorial comment approved by Beaird and managed by editor Jim Montgomery. This "Journal Page" continued until December 31, 1999.The Journal won several important prizes under Beaird, including the "Robert F. Kennedy Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged" by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the "Mass Media Gold Medallion" for stories on African American history, and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Awards for Editorial Writing."Journal Page" was a 1994 finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing for a series on decriminalization of narcotics.
In addition to the aforementioned George Shannon, Stanley Tiner, Eric Brock, and Jack Barham, others on The Journal staff were:
- Jerry Byrd, sports editor, later with Bossier Press-Tribune in Bossier City
- Lane Crockett, staff member from 1968 to 1977, later with Shreveport Times, entertainment editor syndicated by Gannett
- Marshall Douglas, religion editor in 1970s
- James H. Greene (1918-1988), staff writer prior to 1950, candidate for United States House of Representatives in 1950."
- Chet Hilburn, reporter, author of The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football (2012)
- Bill Keith, former city editor, later Shreveport Times investigative reporter, and member of the Louisiana State Senate
- Perry Roy Keith (1924-1998), former city editor, previously worked for Shreveport Times
- William Howard "Bill" Lee (1925-2014), state editor during 1960s and 1970s in charge of regional reporting and management of the correspondents, native of Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States Navy veteran of World War II, journalism graduate of the University of Mississippi, reporter and editor for a number of weekly and daily papers in West and Central Texas prior to his 16-year association with The Journal; with his wife, a charter member of the South Bossier Baptist Church in Bossier City
- Carl Liberto, last editor of The Journal
- Lois Norder, last Journal city editor (1988-1991), later managing editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- John James Marshall, sports writer (1981-1991), later alumni affairs director at Loyola University in New Orleans
- Ed Pettis, former state editor
- Veronica "Ronni" Patriquin Clark, The Journal staff (1976-1991), director of the Capitol Bureau in Baton Rouge, later with Mobile Press-Register
- Charles C. Phillips, columnist
- John Andrew Prime, staff writer at The Journal prior to 1978, since with the Shreveport Times
- Bailey Thomson, staff writer, later with Mobile Press-Register and associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
- Nico A. Van Thyn, The Journal sports writer, later with Shreveport Times and Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- Rick Woodson (c. 1940-2013), sports editor in 1960s and 1970s
- Shreveport Journal Collection (1921-1990). lsus.edu. Retrieved on June 13, 2012.
- John Andrew Prime. "Former Journal publisher dies at age 83", Shreveport Times, February 22, 1994.
- "Tiner announces candidacy for post representing District 4", Minden Press-Herald (Minden, Louisiana), December 15, 1987, p. 10.
- .Douglas Attaway and Jack Barham, "Eclipse Splendor: Two Minutes of History," July 28, 1972. nauticom.net. Retrieved on June 13, 2012.
- Eric John Brock. Shreveport Times. Retrieved on May 18, 2012.
- Minden Press-Herald, March 31, 1991, p. 1
- Beaird obituary, Shreveport Times, April 20, 2006
- 1953 Byrd-Springhill deadlock is still at the top of my list, June 18, 2012. bossierpress.com. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- James Greene Enters Race for Congress," Minden Herald, June 2, 1950, p. 12
- The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 245 Greatest Games: The ascension of LSU Football. WestBowPress, ISBN 1449752691. Retrieved on September 10, 2012.
- Bill Keith. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Perry Roy Keith. bossierpress.com. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- William "Bill" Howard Lee. The Shreveport Times (December 9, 2014). Retrieved on December 11, 2014.
- Bill Keith, The Commissioner: A True Story of Deceit, Dishonor, and Death, p. 75. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Lois Norder. linkedin.com. Retrieved on July 2, 2012.
- John James Marshall. linkedin.com. Retrieved on September 13, 2012.
- Ronni Patriquin Clark. talent.me. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Charles C. Phillips, “The oil fields – A fascinating story yet to be told.” Shreveport Journal, October 10, 1966
- John Andrew Prime. home.earthlink.net. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Alabama Writer. alabamawriter.com. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Coaches can help create a memory. rodscalvarywebstie.com. Retrieved on July 3, 2012.
- Roy Lang, III, "Former Shreveport Journal Sports Editor Rick Woodson dies in Rochester, New York," March 13, 2013. Shreveport Times. Retrieved on April 24, 2013.