The Impartial Reporter

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The Impartial Reporter
Type Weekly Newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Editor Denzil McDaniel
Headquarters Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Circulation 13, 472 [1]
Official website www.impartialreporter.com

The Impartial Reporter is a newspaper based in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland which is circulated in Fermanagh, South Tyrone and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland. It is the 3rd-oldest newspaper in Ireland, and is Fermanagh's oldest surviving weekly newspaper.[2]

19th century[edit]

Founding[edit]

The Impartial Reporter was founded in 1825 by William Trimble.[3] Trimble took over from the original owner, printer John Gregsten.[4] William Trimble was called the "Father of the Irish Press"[5] During its early decades, coverage of the Great Famine was one of the top stories.[6] The newspaper emerged the survivor of intense competition by rival newspapers in its early years.[7]

The Land War[edit]

The Impartial Reporter began to take notice of the plight of tenant farmers. It became an early and outspoken champion of poor farmers during the 19th century's Land War. With the passage of the Land Act of 1881, real reform began to take hold. Still, the newspaper continued to advocate for those who were still being "victimised" by unreasonable rents, the practice of using land courts (which were tilted towards landlords) to intimidate tenants, and other disadvantages. In August 1881, it rejected Parnell's more radical Land League proposals as a threat to social and political order.[8]

The newspaper's campaign on behalf of farmers did not go unanswered. The Fermanagh Times was established in 1880 as a mouthpiece in opposition to the Impartial Reporter and other reformers. It was patronized by land-owning conservatives, and was run by William Ritchie.[9]

Unionism[edit]

In 1885, the editorial position was that the conflict between landlords and tenant farmers was a far more serious issue than the political arguments between Green and Orange factions. The Orange Order was seen as being dominated by landed interests, and was generally opposed. The Impartial Reporter long reserved its opinion on the Home Rule question—backing Gladstone's position.[10]

While the Impartial Reporter remained skeptical of Unionism, the rival Fermanagh Times, reflecting its supporters' views, took an early Unionist stance.[9] The Impartial Reporter eventually converted to supporting Unionist views during the second Home Rule debate in the early 1890s. It gradually became the most vocal advocate for Unionism in the county, eclipsing even the Fermanagh Times.[11]

Recent history[edit]

The Impartial Reporter was owned and published by the Trimble family until 2006, when it was sold to Ulster News Group (a subsidiary of Dunfermline Press, Ltd.). It holds the world's record for being the newspaper to have its ownership longest in the hands of a single family.[12] The Trimble family continues to exercise a managing role in the newspaper.[13]

In 2008, the Impartial Reporter was named as "Newspaper of the Year" in the inaugural Slugger O'Toole political awards.[14]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/jul/03/mediabusiness-lloyds-banking-group
  2. ^ HoldtheFrontPage Staff (27 June 2000). "£50,000 community grant marks Reporter's 175th anniversary". HoldtheFrontPage. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Oram, Hugh (1983). The Newspaper Book: A History of Newspapers in Ireland, 1649-1983. London, England: MO Books, p. 46. ISBN 0-9509184-1-5
  4. ^ Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, p. 565. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  5. ^ (1889) Hazell's Annual and Almanack. London: Hazell, Watson and Viney. p. 454.
  6. ^ Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, pp. 267-282. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  7. ^ Mac Annaidh, Séamus (1999). Fermanagh Books, Writers and Newspapers of the Nineteenth Century. Enniskillen and Belfast: Marmara Denizi, p. 97. ISBN 0-9534747-0-4
  8. ^ Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, pp. 291, 294, 299-300, 311. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  9. ^ a b Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, pp. 309-310. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  10. ^ Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, p. 311. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  11. ^ Murphy, Eileen M.; William J. Roulston; eds. (2004). Fermanagh History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County. Dublin, Ireland: Geography Publications, pp. 313, 316. ISBN 0-906602-52-1
  12. ^ Bernhard, Jim (2007). Porcupine, Picayune, & Post: How Newspapers Get Their Names. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, pp. 70-71. ISBN 978-0-8262-1748-6
  13. ^ "Impartial Reporter sold to Ulster News Group". PressGazette (London, United Kingdom). 23 June 2006. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Fealty, Mick (2008-10-14). "The winners of 2008 inaugural Awards". Slugger Awards. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 

External links[edit]