Newspapers: The Odds in Portland

In the past 30 years, some 20 U.S. dailies have been launched during newspaper strikes, and struggled to stay permanently in business. Almost without exception, such papers end along with the strike.* Despite such overwhelming odds, during a 1959 strike against both dailies in Portland, Ore., union staffers launched the Portland Reporter, a competitive paper of their own. Last week, the odds caught up with the Reporter. Only a few days after celebrating its fourth birthday, Oregon's strike-born daily went under.

The immediate cause of death was anemia: the Reporter simply ran out of money. Never able to pay its own...

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