The Wichita Eagle

The July 27, 2005 front page
of The Wichita Eagle
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) The McClatchy Company
Publisher Roy Heatherly
Editor Sherry Chisenhall
Founded 1872
Headquarters 825 East Douglas Avenue
Wichita, KS 67202
United States
Circulation 90,648 Daily
149,230 Sunday [1]

The Wichita Eagle is a daily newspaper published in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is owned by The McClatchy Company and is the largest newspaper in Wichita and the surrounding area.[2]



In 1870, The Vedette was the first newspaper established in Wichita by Fred A. Sowers[3] and W. B. Hutchinson. It operated briefly.[4][5]

In April 1872, The Wichita Eagle was founded and edited by Marshall M. Murdock,[6][7] and it became a daily paper in May 1884.[4] His son, Victor Murdock,[8] was a reporter for the paper during his teens, the managing editor from 1894 to 1903, an editor from the mid-1920s until his death in 1945.

In October 1872, The Wichita Daily Beacon was founded by Fred A. Sowers and another man.[4][5] It published daily for two months, then weekly until 1884 when it went back to daily. In 1907, Henry Allen[9] purchased the Beacon and was publisher for many years.[10]


The Eagle and Beacon competed for 88 years, then in 1960 the Eagle purchased the Beacon. Both newspapers continued to be published, the Eagle in the morning, the Beacon in the evening, the Eagle and Beacon on Sunday.[5]

In 1973, the Murdock family sold the paper to Ridder Publications. Ridder and Knight Newspapers merged in 1974 to form Knight Ridder, which combined the two newspapers into The Wichita Eagle-Beacon in 1980.[5]

In 1989, the Beacon name was dropped, and the newspaper became The Wichita Eagle.[5]

In 2006, the Eagle became part of The McClatchy Company when McClatchy bought Knight Ridder.[5]


On November 18, 1996, the Eagle launched its first website, Wichita Online, at On November 11, 2007, its domain was changed to[5]


In spring 2016, McClatchy Company announced that it would transfer printing of the Eagle from Wichita to its Kansas City Star printing line in Kansas City, Missouri, which already prints other newspapers such as Lawrence Journal-World and Topeka Capital-Journal. The move eliminated 27 full-time and 47 part-time jobs. The building will be sold and the editing staff will move to a smaller location in downtown Wichita.[11][12] In fall 2016, Cargill announced that it would move it's "Protein Group" headquarters from downtown Wichita into a new $60 Million building on the site of the former Eagle building at 825 East Douglas Avenue in old town.[13][14]

As of September 2016, the editing staff was still located at 825 East Douglas Avenue, but no announcement of when or where they will move, other than the goal of being in downtown Wichita area.

Civic journalism

The paper built its national reputation largely under the editorship of W. Davis "Buzz" Merritt Jr., one of the earliest and most vocal proponents of civic journalism (also known as public journalism) which believes that journalists and their audiences are not merely spectators in political and social processes, and that journalists should not simply report dry facts as a pretense that their reporting represents unadulterated neutrality, which is impossible. (see Objectivity in Journalism) Instead, the civic journalism movement seeks to treat readers and community members as participants. With a small, but growing following, civic journalism has become as much of an ideology as it is a practice.

The Wichita Eagle was at the forefront of this movement. For example, for elections held in 1990, the paper polled 500 residents to identify their top concerns for the state. Then, over the course of the elections, reporters for the paper attempted to pin down the candidates on how they felt about these issues, and printed a pull-out section each week with a list of the issues and where the candidates stated they stood. If the candidate refused to take a stand, that was also reported. This is in stark contrast to the former practice of simply reporting the facts about a candidate's speech. As a result, voter turnout in the Eagle's primary circulation area was 43.3 percent, compared with 31 percent for the rest of the state.


Further reading

External links

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