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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Publication Is Last Surviving City Journalism Review

It figures that the St. Louis Journalism Review (SJR) celebrated its 30th anniversary this week not with a banquet or a party but with a serious panel discussion of political campaigns. That’s the way Founder Charles Klotzer wanted it, and though he gave SJR to Webster College four years ago, his no-frills style continues to influence the monthly. To a point, that is.

SJR changed from a tabloid to a magazine format last month, despite Klotzer’s contention that “a tabloid feels newsy [while] a magazine is sort of bathroom reading.” SJR was created in 1970 – when the Chicago Journalism Review inspired journalists in cities across America to start their own local reviews.

In its first issue, it reported that the city’s two dailies, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, had been splitting profits for years – which had never been reported locally and was news even to some editors.

Thirty years later, only SJR survives as a city journalism review. Klotzer and his wife Rose subsidized SJR for 24 years on the profits of their graphics business. Now it receives subsidies from the university and remains a local scold.

“Primary received mediocre coverage,” a typically blunt headline read in the September issue. Said Klotzer, “We feel we’ve made an impact.”

Mark Fitzgerald ( is editor at large for E&P.

Copright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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