"Covers Dixie Like the Dew"

A History of Newspaper Journalism in Georgia

Rise of Country Weeklies

The state saw a dramatic increase of weekly newspapers in the decades following the Civil War. In 1869, there were 59 weekly papers circulating in Georgia. By 1890 that number had ballooned to 225. Much of that growth occurred in south Georgia, where small-town papers began circulating in Valdosta, Waycross, Blackshear, Douglas, and elsewhere. Due to the absence of intra-city rival publications, many of these smaller weekly papers were less politically aligned than their larger city counterparts and devoted more space to local news. Content in these newspapers usually reported local personal items, including illnesses, vacations, club meetings, church events, and humorous incidents, similar to social media posts in the twenty-first century. Their subscribers were often farmers by trade, and the average reader could also find an abundance of agricultural stories in the pages of their rural weekly papers. Many of the weeklies established during this period became the legal organs for their counties and are still in print today, including the Henry Herald, Calhoun Times, and the Jackson Progress-Argus.