Seattle's Ethnic Press

Seattle has been home to hundreds of newspapers in the last century and a half, some of them daily newspapers that have sought a large readership among the city's dominant populations, many of them weeklies or monthlies that have tried to represent minority communities. University of Washington Library collections include at least twenty different newspapers representing Seattle's African American community, eighteen representing the Filipino American community, five Japanese American, several Chinese American, four German American, three Jewish, two Italian American, seven Swedish, Norwegian, or Danish American newspapers. Some of these newspapers were successful and long lived, others published for only a short while. They varied also in tone and purpose. But all played some role in helping their particular community negotiate relationships with the dominant society.

This page is a gateway to learning more about Seattle's ethnic newspapers and their communities.  The reports that follow were produced by students in advanced History and Labor Studies classes at the University of Washington. Each is accompanied by digitized copies of pages and articles from the newspapers. 

The Courier was the first Japanese-American newspaper published entirely in English in the United States. It served not only Seattle but Japanese-Americans up and down the West Coast.

The major newspaper for Seattle's African American community from 1920-1952, the Enterprise was at times a forceful voice for civil rights activism. This essay looks at the newspaper in 1938.

This essay shows how the tone and politics of Seattle's major black-owned newspaper changed under new ownership in the Cold War era.

Monthly newsletter of the Christian Friends of Racial Equality, the Bulletin served the bi-racial organization, delivering news on the national civil rights movement and publicizing activities and events.

Founded in 1967, the Afro American Journal was a consistent voice for Black Power and community control. No issue was more important to the newspaper than education.

For more than 40 years, from 1928 until 1969, The Filipino Forum served Filipinos in the Pacific Northwest. This essay looks at the early years of the newspaper.

No one did more to establish Filipino American journalism than Victorio Velasco, who is best known as the editor of the Seattle-based Filipino Forum (1928-1968). This paper looks at his early career as a student and journalist after coming to the US from the Phillipines in 1924.

Calling itself "the Voice of Jewish Washington," The Jewish Transcript has served the Jewish community for more than eighty years. This essay explores the very early history of the weekly newspaper.  

Published between 1915 and 1919, the weekly Jewish Voice of the Pacific Coast projected the image of a prosperous and secure Jewish community,  and one deeply engaged with events beyond the Northwest. 

Published in Hoquiam and distributed throughout Washington and beyond, The Real American was a well-written and lively weekly that mixed local tribal news with coverage of national issues important to Indians. Editor Hugh Howell and a staff of young Northwest Indians preached pan-Indianism while also serving up large spreads about beauty contests and other entertainment.

The Quileute Independent began publication in 1908 in La Push, Washington. Its editor, W.H. Hudson was a member of the Quileute tribe who had attended Chemawa Indian School, near Salem, Oregon. The next year the newspaper changed its name to the Quileute Chieftain with Hudson continuing as editor.

The Seattle Star carried on a relentless campaign against Japanese residents of Washington State in the months after Pearl Harbor, especially after the newspaper changed owners in January 1942. This essay examines the coverage in detail.

This essay examines the sharply conflicting editorial positions of some of the smaller newspapers in the region:  the Seattle Argus, West Seattle Herald,  Bainbridge Review, Northwest Enterprise, and Japanese American Courier. 

The Philippine-American Chronicle was a biweekly newspaper published in Seattle from 1935 – 1936. With its motto was "For Truth Freedom and Justice We Champion the Cause of Labor," the paper supported the organizing drive of the Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers’ Union Local No. 18257.

The Seattle Union Record was the major voice of organized labor in Seattle. This essay explores the constructions of whiteness and perceptions of African Americans, Chinese and Japanese in the newspaper's first years, 1910-1918.


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