Accession UAA-1981-004 - UAA-1981-004

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  • Graphic material

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Physical description

527 35mm negative strips - ca. 2000 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1903 -)

Administrative history

The Edmonton Journal is a daily newspaper in the Postmedia Network that publishes six days a week. Its offices are in downtown Edmonton. The paper was founded in 1903 as The Evening Journal by John Macpherson, John W. Cunningham and Arthur Moore. Its first edition was published on November 11, 1903, and it was advertised as a daily newspaper printed every evening except Sunday. It was set up in competition with Alberta's first newspaper, the Edmonton Bulletin, which ran from 1880 to 1951. The Journal took an editorial stance supporting the Conservatives, while the Bulletin favoured the Liberal party. In 1909, Macpherson, Cunningham and Moore sold the paper to John P. McConnell of Vancouver, B.C., who in turn sold it to J.H. Woods of Calgary, AB. Upon taking over ownership, Woods declared the Edmonton Journal to be politically independent. Milton Robbins Jennings was hired as manager and editor, and under his leadership Journal readership soared. William Southam and Sons bought the newspaper in 1912, remaining owners until 1996.

In addition to publishing a newspaper, in May 1922 the Edmonton Journal started CJCA, Alberta’ first radio station. In 1934, management and operations of the radio station transferred to Taylor & Pearson. Southam Press Ltd later transferred their shares of the radio station to Selkirk Communications in 1970.

The Edmonton Journal is the only newspaper in Canada to ever have won a Pulitzer Prize. It was awarded to the Journal in 1938 for its editorial leadership against the Accurate News and Information Act, put forth by William Aberhart’s Social Credit government in October 1937. The Act would have required newspapers to print statements correcting any stories deemed inaccurate by the government, and to reveal their sources upon demand. The Edmonton Journal took their fight against the Act all the way to the Supreme Court, where the press act was overturned. In the 1980s, the Edmonton Journal took two more freedom of the press cases to the Supreme Court. Hunter vs. Southam brought the question to the Supreme Court of what is a reasonable search and seizure under the new Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1989, the Journal challenged the provincial Judicature Act, which made it illegal to report the details of divorce cases, or any information in documents pertaining to civil trials before the trial began. The Journal won both cases.

In 1980, the Edmonton Journal opened its Eastgate production plant which had the technology to begin producing colour ads and photographs. Their Goss metroliner presses could print 50,000 copies an hour.

The Edmonton Journal made the unusual move in 1998 of investing $1 million dollars into becoming a part owner of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington almost made a deal that would have seen the team move to Houston, Texas, but a group of local businesses formed the Edmonton Investors Group and bought the team for 70 million dollars to keep it in Edmonton. The Edmonton Investors Group owned the Oilers until the 2007-08 season.

In 1996 the company Southam and Sons was sold to Hollinger International, along with the Edmonton Journal and its other newspaper holdings. Following changes to the organization of Hollinger holdings, the Journal was sold to the Canadian media conglomerate CanWest in 2000. The growing popularity of the internet posed a serious threat to newspaper revenues through classifieds and subscriptions, leading to further instability, staff cuts and centralization. CanWest entered bankruptcy protection in 2009, and its newspaper arm (including the Edmonton Journal) was sold in 2010 to the newly formed Postmedia Network. Postmedia Network also owns the conservative papers National Post and Financial Post. Circulation declined by 22 percent between 2009 and 2015. Like all newspapers across Canada, cost cutting measures and outsourcing happened. Beginning in 2015, the Canadian and World news sections of the Edmonton Journal became an insert from the National Post.

The Edmonton Journal is currently the largest newspaper in Alberta, with circulation extending south to Innisfail, east and west into Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and as far north as Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. They have sponsored several large community events over the years, and are involved with many local charitable organizations, such as the United Way. The paper consists of sections on News (City & Region), a National Post section on Canadian and World news, Opinion, Sports, Business (Financial Post Edmonton), Life, Arts and Entertainment. In addition to a print edition, Edmonton Journal news can also be read as an ePaper, on their website, mobile, or Amazon Kindle. The newspaper and the website are published daily except for selected holidays.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Accession consists of photographs of University of Alberta people, campus and events, from the Edmonton Journal.

Notes area

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  • English

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Finding aids

accession register; index; file inventory

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General note

Extracted from PAA accession 80.343

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DBRACEWELL 7.23.2009; Updated by A.A. 2 June 2023

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