The Florida Times-Union, based in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, is the major daily newspaper in northeast Florida. Widely known as the oldest newspaper in the state, it began publication as the Florida Union in 1864. Its current incarnation started in 1883, when two existing newspapers in the city, the Florida Daily Times and the Florida Union, combined. A Southeast Georgia edition, called The Georgia Times-Union, serves the Brunswick area.
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For much of its history, the Times-Union (and the St. Augustine Record) was owned by the St. Augustine-based Florida East Coast Railway. Under this ownership the paper was notorious for relegating news of any railroad mishap to its back pages while giving front page coverage to trucking accidents. In fact, an oft repeated joke around Jacksonville was that "In North Florida, trains don't hit cars. Cars hit trains." In 1959, Florida Publishing Company (its parent company) purchased the evening newspaper the Jacksonville Journal. The two newspapers remained sister publications until 1988 when the Journal ceased publication.
During the 1960s, The Florida Times-Union and Jacksonville Journal played different roles in two major events in city history. Civil rights activists criticized both newspapers for their failure to cover the race riots at downtown's Hemming Park in 1960. Segregation was so ingrained in the city that the Times-Union also published a 'Star' edition for the local black community. The newspapers adopted a more crusading role in the latter part of the decade when they exposed corruption on various levels of city and county government. In addition to attention from WJXT-TV, the two newspapers' stories helped lead to the consolidation of Jacksonville and Duval County.
In 1983, Morris Communications of Augusta, Georgia purchased Florida Publishing Company. The Times-Union became the largest newspaper of this chain, which owns a number of newspapers around the country. Its current editor is Patrick A. Yack, and the editorial page editor is Michael P. Clark.
- "The Florida Times-Union". Morris Communications Company, LLC. http://www.morris.com/divisions/morris_publishing_group/daily_newspapers/florida_times.shtml. Retrieved on 2007-03-05.
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