Media is in a time where news and information are readily available and there is simply no real way for the print industry to keep up with the rapid updating the internet provides. As a result, 10,000 newspaper jobs have been lost and more than 100 newspapers have shut down their presses forever. Magazines have also taken a loss as the popular urban magazine Vibe has shut down as well and The Blender.
In the midst of a crumbling print industry, one newspaper still remains a force to be reckoned with. The Philadelphia Tribune is was first and now the oldest black continuous print publication in the country. This year marks its 125th anniversary after it’s 1884 debut. The newspaper was established to project the voice of African-Americans and inform the masses of civil injustice.
Robert Bogle, the Tribune’s current president who spent many years as a child at the Tribune publication office, “My father worked here, and so i grew up here as a child. I would see the men and women that worked here, in those days we printed out paper right here in this building.”
The press they used more then 70 years ago remain in tact and inside the building.
Father Thomas Logan, 97, who sold the Tribune as a boy said, “Every issue he would have something about the black people and people wanted to read about themselves.” That still holds true today.
Philadelphia native Sam Muelbellieger, says, “It’s really our home base paper that really taps the heartbeat of the African American community and other papers don’t tend to gravitate toward that area. So we have something like a family type of situation with the Tribune.”
Senior vice president, Bertha Godfrey, has been a part of the publication staff since 1946. She says family has forever been the essence of the Tribune.
“It was like a family, we looked out for one another,” she says. “My boss E. Washington Rhodes, if you needed $500, he would see to it that you got it, right out of his pocket. And we didn’t have any money back then. I remember we could hardly make payroll.”
Many print industry big wigs are most likely feeling the pressure to produce and circulate, however, Bogles believes the Philadelphia Tribune will continue to thrive for years to come “Because we’re doing today what Chris Perry did 125 years ago. And today, like 125 years ago, that continues to be. And that’s why.”
The Philadelphia Tribune continues to circulate 220,00 printed copies per week and is published five days a week.