Rapid City Journal

The Rapid City Journal (formerly the Black Hills Journal and the Rapid City Daily Journal) is the daily newspaper of Rapid City, South Dakota. It is the second-largest newspaper in South Dakota and covers Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Rapid City Journal
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Lee Enterprises
PublisherBill Masterson, Jr.
EditorKent Bush
Managing editorPat Butler, Assistant Managing Editor Nathan Thompson
Founded5 January 1878 (1878-01-05)
(as the Black Hills Journal)
Headquarters507 Main Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
Sister newspapersChadron (Neb.) Record
OCLC number2250546

The newspaper also publishes the Sturgis Rally Daily and Compass, which are two special supplements. The Sturgis Rally Daily is published during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and Compass is the weekly shoppers tab.


The Rapid City Journal began on January 5, 1878, as the Black Hills Journal. Publisher Joseph P. Gossage produced the first edition of the Black Hills Journal, which was four pages and had 250 subscribers. Printed in a log cabin on Rapid Street, the first newspaper was laboriously cranked out on a Washington hand printing press.

The newspaper printed its first daily paper and changed its name to the Rapid City Daily Journal on February 2, 1886. It continued to publish as both a daily and a weekly newspaper until 1929.

It has acted as a historical record for western South Dakota, covering major events like the 1972 Black Hills flood, the annual Buffalo Roundup and auction in Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial's annual volksmarch, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. As of January 2021, Bill Masterson, Jr. is the publisher and Kent Bush is the editor. For the newsroom, Pat Butler is the managing editor and Nathan Thompson is the assistant managing editor.

The Rapid City Journal Media Group also publishes one weekly newspaper, The Chadron Record in Chadron, Nebraska. Nathan Thompson is the executive editor and Mark Dykes is the managing editor of The Chadron Record.


  1. Joseph P. Gossage - January 1878 to April 1925
  2. Alice Gossage - April 1925 to June 1925
  3. Charles Mitchell - June 1925 to April 1926
  4. E.F. "Ted" Lusk - June 1925 to April 1939
  5. R.W. Hitchcock - April 1939 to February 1961
  6. Jean Hitchcock Mitchell - February 1961 to December 1964
  7. Willis Brown - December 1964 to September 1968
  8. Joyce A. Swan September 1968 to May 1971
  9. James W. "Rusty" Swan - May 1971 to November 1985
  10. David C. Sharp - November 1985 to April 1993
  11. Loretta Lynde - May 1993 to September 1994
  12. John Van Strydonck - October 1994 to September 2000
  13. Bill Masterson, Jr. - September 2000 to September 2006
  14. Rosanne Cheeseman - November 2006 to October 2007
  15. Brad Slater - October 2007 to June 2011
  16. Shannon Brinker - November 2011 to May 2017
  17. Eugene Jackson - May 2017 to March 2018
  18. Matthew Tranquill - January 2019 to January 2021
  19. Bill Masterson, Jr. - January 2021 to present

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