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Baranof banner. [volume] : (Sitka, Alaska) 1958-1958
Place of publication:
Sitka, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Sitka, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
Pioneer Press
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 10, 1958)-v. 1, no. 12 (Oct. 2, 1958).
  • English
  • Alaska--Sitka.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01218734
  • Sitka (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Suspended with May 8, 1958 issue; resumed with Aug. 21, 1958 issue.
sn 94050022
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Baranof banner. [volume] April 10, 1958 , Image 1


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Baranof banner

The Baranof banner was a short-lived weekly published in Sitka, Alaska, by the Pioneer Press. It ran from April 10, 1958, to October 2 of that year. The first issue elaborated on the banner's editorial policy by saying that it would "always attempt to fairly present both sides of any issue," and emphasized that it would focus on "the people of this our town. What they are doing, where they are going, what they are planning." The editorial eagerly anticipated the "boom times" of Sitka and highlighted its future as a "crossroads of the air" and an "Island Empire" in its own right. A notice explained that the publishers, Richard Calhoun and Paul Pelker, had reduced the size of the first issue due to time constraints, and they cut advertisements, directories, and event calendars for more news columns. The notice promised that the next issue would be full-sized to make up for it.

Issues often had a dedicated "Woman's Page," "Sport Page," and sometimes a "Teen Age Page" which featured news from Sitka's schools. The banner had several recurring columns, including "We The Pioneers," which focused on events at the Sitka Pioneer Home, "The Crying Towel," which was about local sports news, and "Hostess of the Week" column on the "Woman's Page", where writer Viki Ellis visited with a local family and wrote about the wife. These features provided the background of the wife and plenty of biographical information, as well as details about her family and a recipe. The banner's coverage was almost exclusively local news with only occasional snippets of national or even state news. Local coverage included comings and goings, town events, and even a weekly "Stork Report."

The banner was suspended during much of the summer (from May 8 to August 21) as the publishers searched for a linotype operator. The banner's return coincided with the vote on statehood and the August 21 issue urged everyone to vote, saying that "It is essential that this area…turn out as many voters as is humanly possible." It argued that since Sitka was trying to get matching funds from the state to help build an airport it was essential that Sitka turn out to the polls, "the NUMBER of voters is extremely important, for the more voters who vote, the more attention the members of the Legislature will give to Sitka".

The banner's staff had different writers taking care of the columns on the "Sport Page," "Woman's Page," and articles on local history. The number of staff declined over the run of the paper, with 7 credited in the first issue and just 3 in the last. Rex King was listed as the editor in the first issue, but by the banner's return on August 21, Calhoun was listed as both the editor and sole publisher. Starting from September 18, the issues were reduced from 8 to 4 pages, and the last known issue was on Oc

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections