Early Northwestern Student Newspapers

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Before the advent of the fraternity system, literary societies gave structure to student life. The earliest student publications were produced by the Adelphic and Hinman literary societies, later joined by members of Ossoli, the women’s literary society. These papers tended to be more magazine-like in format and content, were published monthly or twice a month, and were sold by subscription. They consisted of essays, poems, and editorials, and a few news briefs (on the back page).




The Tripod, 1871-1880

The Tripod first appeared in January, 1871, as a joint effort between the Hinman and Adelphic Literary societies. The 14-page publication was funded by subscriptions of $1.50/year, as well as by advertising sales. The founding editors intended "to make and continue it a high-toned journal of choice literature, both original and selected;" as for the choice of a name, the editors said, "We frankly confess that our choice of a name has been guided by a desire ot select a decent one, that was not alredy in use as a title of a periodical publication, and 'The Tripod' suits us..." The newspaper was printed in Chicago. The Great Chicago Fire of October, 1981, destroyed the paper, type, copy, and engravings for the November issue, but a November Tripod was published later in the month. Originally published monthly, The Tripod became a twice-monthly in 1879 to compete with The Vidette.




Northwestern (magazine format)


Things Change, Remain Same

On October 19, 1903 , The Northwestern (newspaper format) reported on battles between NU and its most important athletic opponent, the University of Chicago. Ten years later, our newspaper’s name had become The Daily, but the topic covered on the front page was virtually unchanged.


Daily Northwestern