The Cherokee Phoenix, launched in New Echota, Ga., in 1828, was the first Native American newspaper. It carried the news in English and in the new Cherokee writing system. Publisher Elias Boudinot, born "Buck Deer," directed the newspaper to "pay a sacred regard to the truth." This 1829 issue featured a story on whites encroaching on Native American lands.
Ida B. Wells's Diary
Ida B. Wells became one of the first prominent African American women in journalism by campaigning tirelessly against lynching. In this 1885 diary entry, Wells wrote of her outrage over a lynching in Jackson, Tenn. She went on to publish the influential Memphis Free Speech in 1892, writing passionate editorials until the newspaper's offices were burned by a white mob.
Photo: Sarah Mercier/Newseum; diary: Loan, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago
Pullman Porter Stepstool and Bottle Openers
In the early-1900s, blacks were leaving the South in record numbers, partly due to the urging of the black newspaper The Chicago Defender. The Defender's influence was so feared by white Southerners that copies were confiscated and the newspaper was banned. To keep his newspaper circulating in the region, publisher Robert Sengstacke Abbott arranged for Pullman porters — mostly black men who worked on sleeping cars — to spread copies of the Defender throughout the South. This stepstool and these bottle openers were used by the porters in the early 20th century.
Photo: Sarah Mercier/Newseum; stepstool: Loan, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture; bottle openers: Loan, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, Gift of Descendants of Robert & Georgia Thomas, Pulaski, Tenn.
Golden Hills' News
The Golden Hills' News, launched in San Francisco in 1854, was the first Asian American newspaper, aimed at immigrants drawn to America by the gold rush. The newspaper's name evokes a description of America by early Chinese immigrants, who called it a "golden mountain." The newspaper reported local news and news from China. This April 22, 1854, front page includes a store's list of grocery items for sale.
Loan, American Antiquarian Society
Jorge Ramos/María Elena Salinas Press Passes
Jorge Ramos and María Maria Elena Salinas co-anchor Univision's nightly news program "Noticiero Univision," the most-watched newscast among Hispanics in the United States. They wore these press passes while covering international events, including Mexico's 2000 election and the selection of a new pope in 2013. Univision often rivals the major broadcast networks for viewers
Photo: Sarah Mercier/Newseum; Ramos press pass: Gift, Jorge Ramos, Univision News; Salinas press pass: Gift, María Elena Salinas
Artifacts Tell the Story of "One Nation With News for All"
Sixty artifacts — including a composing stick and lead type used by Benjamin Franklin, and some of the country's first ethnic newspapers — will be on display in "One Nation With News for All," the Newseum's new exhibit that explores the role of the ethnic media in America. The exhibit, created in partnership with the Smithsonian's Our American Journey project, is open from May 16, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015.
Here are five artifacts that highlight some of the stories in the exhibit.