54 MISSOURI HISTORICAL REVIEW
EARLY LIFE IN ST. LOUIS AND HIS FOUNDING AND CONDUCT
OF THE POST-DISPATCH UP TO 1883
BY GEORGE S. JOHNS
CREATING THE POST-DISPATCH
The merger of the Post and Dispatch under the domination of Joseph Pulitzer marked the birth of a new force in
journalism. It was a blend of new ideas, new methods, new
purposes. There was evidence of this force in the work of
Mr. Pulitzer on the WestUche Post. It budded and blossomed
and bore fruit in his work on the Post and Dispatch. The elder
Bennett had developed the news function of the press to a
high degree. Greeley had demonstrated the power of the
editorial. This new school of journalism founded in St.
Louis combined both and went beyond both. It conceived of
a newspaper not merely as the purveyor of news, not merely
as the commentator on the news, but it developed the power
of publicity to the fullest point by the exposure of the evils
of society, of politics, of government. It ruthlessly exposed
corrupt and evil conditions, vigorously and fearlessly directed
attention to the men, the parties, the elements responsible
for those conditions. It made the newspaper a conscious and
deliberate moral force in the community, the nation and the
The evidence of new ideas and new methods was visible
from the beginning.
The first issue of the St. Louis Post and Dispatch, on
December 12, resembled in size, appearance and style the
Post. It was made up of four pages, of seven columns each.
It promised 10 pages on Saturday. The first editorial announcement bore the manifest impress of Joseph Pulitzer.
"The union of the Post with the Dispatch, which was
decreed by immutable destiny nearly a year ago, takes place