Burlington newsmen took on management, supported workers

1877 was not an especially good year for Burlington. 

Even more than usual, the town was split along class and ethic lines, thanks to a divisive railroad strike, a controversial city water project and rampant corruption both at city hall and the police station.

Burlington citizens grumbled and fussed over the state of affairs and turned to the town’s two newspapers, The Hawk Eye and the Gazette, for the latest reports of malfeasance.

But these community watch dogs turned a blind eye to anything controversial.

Ever mindful of their advertising revenue, the two publications had come down solidly down on the side of the town’s conservative merchant and manufacturing leaders at the expense of the town’s working class. 

News reports in both newspapers were closely tailored not to cause offense at the breakfast tables of North Hill mansions and labor unions were castigated as inventions of the devil.

Around Burlington

This view was not universally shared by all members of the community, and The Hawk Eye management finally came to realize that there might be room for a newspaper with an alternative editorial point of view.

The decision was made to offer a weekly sheet to be called the Monday Morning News — a spinoff intended to report the news that the daily Hawk Eye would hope to ignore.

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