A pioneering community journalist

The Boston Globe today has a wonderful tribute to a pioneering community journalist — Rhoda Shaw Clark, who published the Claremont Daily Eagle in New Hampshire from 1950, when her husband died in a canoe accident, until 1963, when she sold the paper. Mrs. Clark died earlier this month at 99.

I particularly like this anecdote in the obituary, written by Gloria Negri:

As a top editor, she was known to be demanding, Charles Caruso of New York City well remembers. “I had gone there for a job, but before I went for the interview went to a road house where people were dancing. I saw this very pretty woman and asked her for a dance. As we danced, I told her I was nervous about an interview the next day with the publisher of the Daily Eagle. “‘I hear the woman publisher is a harridan, a real curmudgeon,’” he said. His dance partner turned out to be Mrs. Clark. He got the job.

The Eagle Times, as the paper was renamed following a merger, went out of business in 2009, but was revived later that year with the help of a $250,000 loan, 75 percent of which was guaranteed by the state — “an unusual deal because it involves a daily newspaper and the government it covers,” as the Nashua Telegraph put it.

I could not access the paper’s website, and according to this Wikipedia article, it’s been down since 2009. Too bad. I would have liked to see what the Eagle Times had to say about Mrs. Clark.

4 thoughts on “A pioneering community journalist

  1. Unfortunately, we don’t have any real newsstands in Concord anymore and none of the variety stores carry newspapers outside of the locals and nationals (Monitor, Union Leader, USA Today, WSJ, NYT, etc.) If I find it though, I’ll grab it for you.

    I have been wondering about the newspaper since its demise and revival via state tax dollars, something that just about everyone found quite unusual considering the potential conflicts. The reverse thinking is, whatever saves newspaper and journalism jobs …

    1. Dan Kennedy

      @Tony: Yeah, the Communist Party kept Pravda going during a lot of lean years. Not to get carried away, but I really don’t like the idea of direct government subsidies for news organizations.

  2. Jerry Ackerman

    The subsidy as described (loan guarantee) isn’t direct, but it’s uncomfortably close.

    I want Gloria Negri to write MY obit. When I’m ready, of course. Gloria is worth a feature story all by herself.

  3. Kris Haight

    Dan,

    I’m from Claremont, NH and was a Eagle Times subscriber until they closed shop last year. (I decided not to renew after that) (I live in Boston btw and had it mailed to my home)

    I can honestly say I doubt there was anything in the paper about her. The Eagle Times, has changed hands several times since the days of the “Daily Eagle” and I would be surprised if anyone who is on staff today there remembers her.

    I’ll send a note to my dad (who still subscribes) to see if there was anything in the paper.

    But honestly considering the caliber of reporting the Eagle does (sarcasm), I doubt anything appeared. The Eagle today not the same paper that it was before it closed and re-opened.

    – Kris in Malden

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