Date of Award


Degree Type

Bachelors Essay

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Maynard W. Brown

Second Advisor

J.L. O'Sullivan


The suburban weekly newspaper, a lone limb in the family tree of journalism, occupies a position entirely unique and individual in relation to the metropolitan daily newspaper on the one hand and the rural country weekly on the other. Because of the situation in which a suburban weekly editor is placed, in the strictest opposition and competition to the neighboring city daily impossible competition as it may seem, it may be considered important to analyze the events and sources of' news in the suburban weekly. That is the purpose of this thesis.

Ultimately, it is the news only which makes a paper a solid institution of service to the readers. It is the news, in any community from Africa to Iceland, which the readers first and last desire to read. The truthful presentation of the events of the day is the primary reason for a newspaper's existence. Interpretation, entertainment, enterprise, the righting of wrongs become ever secondary. For that reason, herein is presented only a survey of the main news stories and their sources contained on the front pages of four Milwaukee suburban newspapers.

The papers studied were: The West Allis Star, The Wauwatosa News, The Cudahy Enterprise and the Suburban Herald of Shorewood. Each of these newspapers is located in communities widely differing from each other. One is a strictly industrial community consisting for the most part of American born citizens of a somewhat lower than average education and environment. Another lies in the midst. of a quite refined, wealthy, socially inclined neighborhood. The third is located in another industrial community, populated by foreigners from the South of Europe, many of whom are unable to read English. The remaining paper lies in the ideal niche for the community newspaper; in the midst of a middle class, educated group of people consisting of tradesmen, professional men, and what is generally known as the backbone of the country.

Because these newspapers are located in such widely divergent communities, they form a truthful cross-section of the suburban weekly field. In as complete a manner as possible, when studied on the front pages only for a period of six months, they present a representative picture of the events and sources of news in the suburban weekly of any village or city adjacent to a metropolis such as Milwaukee. No extremely general conclusions can be drawn from this study for every community newspaper is faced with problems which never occur to others. Yet an analysis of the news as interpreted in the suburban weekly by the editors and staffs, who are for the most part capable men, may throw some light on the subject.


A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the College of Journalism, Marquette University, in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Philosophy