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African-American Media

Headshot of J. Anthony Josey from the elbows up smiling in a vertical striped vest and notched lapel suit, with a paisley cravat. Josey's right hand's index and middle fingers elegantly clamp a cigar while his face and eyes look to his left.
Milwaukee has had newspapers and media catering to the Wisconsin black community since the 1890s. From the beginning these media outlets sought to increase both the appeal of Milwaukee as a destination for African Americans and as an avenue of racial progress. In April of 1892, two white men, George A. Brown and Thomas Jones,… Read More

Digital Milwaukee

Frontpage of the last issue of the UWMPost dated November, 26, 2012 with the tagline "The Student-Run Independent Newspaper." The headline reads, "The Post is Dead." The second article is titled "Long Live the Post."
“Digital Milwaukee” is the online presence of metropolitan Milwaukee. It emerged with the opening of the Internet to commercial traffic and the advent of the World Wide Web as a system for visualizing, organizing, and disseminating digital content in the early 1990s. The development of the Web has transformed how Milwaukeeans understand, discuss, share, market,… Read More

German-Language Media

One of the earliest available edition of the Wiskonsin-Banner, dated March 15, 1845. The Banner then was a weekly paper with a yearly subscription fee of 2 dollars to be paid in advance.
Milwaukee’s German-language press, much like the city’s German community in general, was characterized by its size and diversity. Half of Milwaukeeans claimed German ancestry in 1910, and the German language was omnipresent in the “German Athens” (Deutsch-Athen) during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many immigrants turned to the German-language press as a bridge between… Read More

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sepia-colored photograph of two rows of employees working at intertype machines facing away from each other. Their chairs leave a narrow way in the middle where people can walk through.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is Wisconsin’s largest and most influential newspaper. It is published daily in print and continuously in digital format ( The current publication is itself a result of the 1995 merger of two separate newspapers, the Milwaukee Sentinel, a morning paper, and the Milwaukee Journal, an afternoon paper. Both predecessor publications date… Read More

Milwaukee Leader

Long shot of a group of people standing outside the Milwaukee Leader facade in sepia. Most of them pose in formal attire, flanking the company's delivery truck covered with messages promoting the Socialist Party. The image shows the office's ground and second floor.
The Milwaukee Leader was a daily socialist newspaper published from December 7, 1911 to May 1942. It was one of three English-language socialist dailies in America. Victor Berger, the paper’s primary editor and inspiration, published several German language newspapers from the 1890s to 1910 and founded the Milwaukee Social Democratic Publishing Company in 1902. The… Read More

Milwaukee Magazine

Pages inside an issue of Milwaukee Magazine showcase the panoramic views of Milwaukee's suburban landscape.
In 1979 Fort Howard Paper Company heir and WFMR-FM radio station owner Doug Cofrin began publishing Milwaukee Magazine, which Cofrin expanded from a monthly pamphlet reporting on local news stories and classical music. Following an unsuccessful 1980 U.S. Senate bid, Cofrin sold the magazine to Cleveland-based City Magazines for $25,000. Struggling to turn a profit,… Read More

Milwaukee Press Club

Interior of one of the Milwaukee Press Club meeting rooms in grayscale. The abandoned-looking room has several empty chairs surrounding a square table, standing next to a fireplace in the center background. Above is a ceiling lamp. A psychiatrist's couch sits next to the left wall.
In 1885, four newspapermen established the Milwaukee Press Club to promote journalism while fostering camaraderie among their peers. Recognized as the oldest continuously operated press club in North America, the private social organization has fulfilled its mission through celebratory dinners, publication of its annual journalism magazine, and professional development opportunities. Over time, the club’s base… Read More

Polish-Language Media

Sepia-colored long shot of the interior of Kuryer Polski's editorial office. Sun shines through two big windows on the left. Several desks are situated next to the windows. A man in a long-sleeved shirt sits at one of the desks. His back is visible. Several posters, an American flag, a painting, and a big map are on the wall on the right. A man working on a typewriter faces the wall. Another employee sits on a desk that faces the camera lens. The front of his body is visible. A display rack full of documents stands on the farthest right. The ceiling light is on.
By the mid-1880s, Milwaukee’s mushrooming Polish language speaking immigrant population was estimated at 30,000 in a city of 200,000. Recognizing the possibilities of a newspaper for its members, the twenty-five year old Michael Kruszka, along with several aspiring, headstrong, and radical colleagues, founded a series of publications. The first in 1885 was a tiny publication,… Read More


Sepia-colored group photo of dozens of Brumder Publishing Company employees posing while making eye contact with the camera lens. Some younger workers in the front sit on top of stacks of books. Others stand behind in several rows while crossing their arms. The ceiling and posts are visible in the background. A man hugs a post while standing higher than anybody in the room. Book stacks appear in the right foreground and left background.
Milwaukee’s publishing industry dates from the founding of the city and has achieved its greatest success in the magazine business. A century after the city’s founding, it ranked within the top ten of all American cities when it came to publishing. Dominated by ethnic newspapers and religious periodicals in its early years, Milwaukee became home,… Read More


A grayscale medium full shot of a radio announcer in a suit and tie standing behind a microphone labeled WTMJ in an indoor space. The man is at the image's center with his body facing slightly to the left towards the mic. He smiles as he holds papers with both hands.
Milwaukee radio developed as a result of cooperation between educational institutions and commercial media. These public and private entities built the technology necessary for radio to flourish and developed the programming that spread across the airwaves. AM radio arrived in Milwaukee in the early 1920s, followed by FM radio in the early 1940s, and then… Read More

Spanish-Language Media

Grayscale medium shot of three men standing and working before a desk full of documents. The man on the left uses scissors to cut a paper while smoking a cigarette. The other men look at the documents with their hands on the table.
As Latinos (mostly Mexicans) began to settle in Milwaukee in the 1920s, they developed newspapers to disseminate news and information about their community in their native Spanish language. The earliest known newspapers were the Boletín Informativo and Sancho Panza, which was named after the fictional character in Cervantes’ novel Don Quijote. In 1930, several Latino… Read More


Grayscale full shot of eight Milwaukee high school students smiling as they pose with vinyl records in WTJM-TV broadcast studio. They stand on the left while facing to the right behind a high table with record players atop. Behind them is the studio set with the name "The Keen Teens" inscribed on it. A vintage camera with the WTJM-TV logo and an overhead mic are visible on the image's right.
Television debuted in Milwaukee during the medium’s “Golden Age” from the late 1940s through the early 1960s. The city’s local networks were pioneers broadcasting on both the VHF and UHF frequencies. At least fourteen commercial and public television networks competed for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) construction permits and then viewers in Milwaukee during that era.… Read More

Waukesha Freeman

A clipping showing the Waukesha Freeman Masthead. The newspaper's title is in the top center written in large font size. The published date, September 16, 1880, is in the center beneath the title. The edition's volume and number are visible. Text below includes writings about Waukesha County's history and an obituary.
During its more than 155 years in print, the Waukesha Freeman has been the principal newspaper for Waukesha County and has a long career of journalistic innovation. Founded by Martin Cullaton, the first issue of the weekly Waukesha Freeman appeared on March 29, 1859 and was published in an office above the Waukesha County Bank.… Read More