The journalists and printers who founded The Dispatch in 1871 could not have imagined the stories their newspaper would tell for 150 years.
He chronicled the capital’s incredible growth, talked about the Ohioians soaring into space, covered the Ohioians who would become the President of the United States, and educated readers on the heroes of war and the heroes of every day, and much more.
Chronology: The Columbus Downtown Expedition
The staff of this information organization works in the service of this community. The Dispatch proudly sends this message from the rooftop with an iconic neon sign: 150 Years of Service.
It is a vocation and a commitment. The Dispatch has been a lasting presence in downtown Columbus and a trusted source of information since July 1, 1871, when the first four-page newspaper rolled off the presses at 26 N. High St.
We celebrate this city and its people. We denounce injustice. We speak the truth to power.
Columbus landmark: Columbus Dispatch sign symbolizes 150 years of community service
We are your neighbors and friends. We live here, work here, and care deeply about this community, and we do our best for you every day. We are following in the footsteps of all who have come before us in this endeavor, including cartoonist Billy Ireland, who amused and entertained Dispatch readers from 1898 to 1935, and who gave his name to the Library and Museum of cartoons from Ohio State University.
Another is author James Thurber, who worked for the newspaper from 1920 to 1924 and had been in town hall for five days when the building caught fire at a city council meeting and burned down.
Thurber considered his time at The Dispatch to be “the most valuable training I have ever received, in school or out, for a life of literary crime in the future, if at all.”
The late Mike Harden is another Columbus legend who wrote for the Columbus Citizen-Journal before joining The Dispatch in 1983.
Harden’s Chronicles reflected the humanity of Columbus in poignant profiles and observations written in a conversational style that put the reader right next to the people he wrote about.
We are honored to follow them and serve you, and we regard this as your journal and your news site.
Those who came before us in this award-winning news organization felt the same. “We want you to think of The Dispatch as your newspaper, ”the staff wrote in a pamphlet in the 1940s about the news gathering and dissemination process. “He is dedicated to the service of bringing you the events of each day, so that you can be informed and entertained.
“Please think of The Dispatch not as a giant machine, but rather as a vital, living institution with a personality – a personality who sees events every day and chronicles it, even as you keep your journal compiled. . “
As The Dispatch turns 150 today, we renew our commitment to providing you with the news and information you need to make important decisions and navigate everyday life. And we’ll continue to deliver it in the form you want to receive – online, on your phone or tablet, in podcasts, in videos, on your smart speaker, in print, and through social media.
Want to know the background of candidates for public office? We have that. Curious about how your tax dollars are spent or what your officials are doing? We’ve got them covered. Are you wondering where or how to buy a house? We provide that. Want to know who has the best burgers or ribs in town? We have this and more.
The Dispatch Sports Team covers Ohio State football, the Crew, the Blue Jackets, and other local sports like no other. The team that covers state government and politics – now a combined force of reporters from The Dispatch and The Cincinnati Enquirer – gives readers across the state some of the best political coverage in the country.
When the news breaks, we flood the stage with reporters and you swarm Dispatch.com because you know we’re here for you – when natural disasters strike, when wildlife escapes from a farm in rural Muskingum County , when a man with a knife goes on a rampage on the Ohio State campus or when a doctor is accused of killing dozens of patients at a local hospital.
And The Dispatch has a decades-long history of investigative journalism that changed lives and laws, and ultimately, the quality of life for people in central Ohio and people far beyond our border.
We have reported on the increase in serious injuries in youth sports, which has contributed to the development of legislation establishing new protocols to protect children who may have suffered concussions. We looked at the dismal state use and retention of DNA evidence, which also led to changes in the law and helped free six men who were either released or declared innocent after collectively serving more of 110 years in prison.
Expedition reporters dug the lack of meaningful disciplinary action for teachers who abused students, often in sexual relationships, and this series prompted swift action by state officials to change laws and procedures .
They sifted through millions of complaints that credit bureaus did not correct errors on credit reports, which in many cases wrecked the finances of families across the country. The Dispatch has published three series on the subject, and the reports have led to national reforms in the way credit bureaus are supervised and regulated.
More recently, reporters have highlighted crime, poverty and the lack of attention to neighborhoods along Sullivant Avenue west of downtown. This project has helped municipal authorities see the need to invest more in this area to improve the quality of life there. And a series about deaths caused by hazing has resulted in a law change that Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign soon.
Our commitment to you includes an ongoing focus on local news, which is our franchise.
With this anniversary, we kick off a year of celebration of local journalism by rethinking our collective history through a series of stories and the reproduction of historical front pages. We will also look to the future by implementing new initiatives.
Starting in August, we’ll be beefing up the Sunday Newspaper with additional content based on feedback from you, our readers, news, and features you’d like to see more of. Watch for more details on this in the coming weeks.
We are also committed to increasing coverage of neighborhoods in Columbus, in part by regularly placing reporters in those neighborhoods to listen, learn and get to know people better so that we can do our best to reflect this community.
And we’re launching a series of community conversations, moderated by Opinion and Engagement editor Amelia Robinson. Some will be virtual and others will be in-person events. The first in the Columbus Conversation series will be “Bridging the Gap between the Police and the People” at 6:30 pm on Thursday July 8th.
The panelists are James Wynn, co-chair of BREAD (Building Responsibility, Equality and Dignity); Sean Walton, a Columbus civil rights lawyer; Deputy Chief Tim Becker of the Columbus Police Division; Brian A. Steel, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9; Vladimir Kogan, associate professor of political science at Ohio State University; and Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin.
The free town hall event will be broadcast live on Dispatch.com and on the newspaper’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. It will also remain available on these platforms after the event. Questions for the panel can be submitted in advance by emailing them to AmeliaRobinson@dispatch.com.
Please join us on July 8th and thank you for being with us every day as you read The Dispatch. Thank you for your support of local journalism.
Alan D. Miller is editor-in-chief of The Dispatch.