Encyclopedia ofChicago
Entries : City News Bureau
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City News Bureau

 

 

 

City News Bureau

In 1890 Chicago Daily News publisher Victor Lawson, having persuaded local newspaper competitors that cooperative gathering of police and other routine news would reduce the cost of rapidly growing reporting staffs and would train reporters for their newsrooms, organized the City Press Association of Chicago, supported in the beginning by 8 publishers of 10 Chicago dailies.

Renamed City News Bureau in 1910, the agency was fulfilling the same reporting and training missions when Chicago's Sun-Times and Tribune shut it down on February 26, 1999, because of costs.

After 1893, City News delivered copy to newspapers via underground pneumatic tubes, replaced by Teletype in 1961. A no-nonsense boot camp for beginners, City News turned out hundreds of alums, notably journalists Mike Royko, Seymour Hersh, Clayton Kirkpatrick, Carole Simpson, Herman Kogan, Jack Mabley, Anne Keegan, novelist Kurt Vonnegut, actor Melvyn Douglas, sculptor Claes Oldenburg, and author Charles MacArthur, co-author of the play The Front Page, which captured the rambunctious City News style.

Bibliography
Dornfeld, Arnold A. “Hello, Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!”: The Story of the City News Bureau of Chicago. 1988. (Published in 1983 as Behind the Front Page.)
Howlett, Debbie. “Legendary News Bureau to Close / City News in Chicago Was Training Ground for Renowned Writers.” USA Today, February 26, 1999.