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Founded in 1950 by David A. Stein, The Riverdale Press is a weekly newspaper that covers the Northwest Bronx neighborhoods of Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights and Van Cortlandt Village. It is one of a handful of weeklies to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Riverdale Press
Riverdale Press Bwy jeh.jpg
Former office on Broadway
Typenewspaper
Owner(s)Richner Communications
EditorMichael Hinman
Founded1950; 69 years ago (1950)
LanguageEnglish
CityBronx, New York City
CountryUnited States
Websiteriverdalepress.com

In the 1950s, The Press fought to rezone Riverdale to preserve private homes and open space threatened by development. It played a key role in the creation of new public schools to accommodate the residents of newly-built apartments and in rescuing a large tract of land in Spuyten Duyvil for a park.[1] Later, it advocated creation of a special natural area district to protect the area's distinctive trees and rocks [2]

In 1978, Bernard Stein succeeded his father as editor, gaining for The Press a reputation as a crusading newspaper. "The Riverdale Press courted controversy and cast a tough, skeptical eye on local officials, who ignored the paper at their peril," wrote The New York Times [3] The Press was the first newspaper to disclose corruption on the city's community school boards; its reporting on the construction of the largest medical waste incinerator in the state in the South Bronx led to the indictment of the chair of the local community board and, eventually, to shuttering the incinerator. For that effort, the paper earned the highest honor of the city's Deadline Club, the James Wright Brown Public Service Award, beating out Newsday and Forbes Magazine, the runners-up.[4]

Bernard Stein's brother Richard, the paper's general manager, was also responsible for its design, which won so many awards that the New York Press Association named its annual award for overall design excellence the Richard L. Stein Award [5] The Press continues to win this award, most recently in 2018.[6]

On David Stein's death in 1982, the brothers became co-publishers of The Press [7]

Its current editor, Michael Hinman, joined the publication in March 2017.[8]

Contents

Firebombing incidentEdit

At about 5 a.m. on February 28, 1989, two men hurled firebombs at the offices of The Press. No one was hurt, but the first floor of the two-story building was consumed by the flames.[9][10]

The bombing took place five days after the newspaper published an editorial defending the right to read Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses, while the editorial was still on newsstands. A call to 911 claiming responsibility said the newspaper was bombed in retaliation for its editorial.

The Society of Professional Journalists gave the paper's co-publishers Richard and Bernard Stein its First Amendment Award for their courage in continuing to publish despite the severe damage caused to the paper's offices by the firebombing.[11]

The editorial that enraged the bombers is posted on Bernard Stein's blog[12] For 10 years on the anniversary of the bombing-for as long as Rushdie remained in hiding-the paper published an editorial about the author, both to call attention to his plight and to demonstrate that the bombers had not intimidated the paper.[13]

Pulitzer PrizeEdit

In 1998, Press editor and co-publisher Bernard L. Stein won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for what the Pulitzer judges called "his gracefully-written editorials on politics and other issues affecting New York City residents."[14] He was also a finalist for the prize in 1987 and 1988.[15]

LegacyEdit

Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, the public middle school and high school that serves Riverdale and Kingsbridge, is named after Riverdale Press founder David A. Stein.

In June 2008, Richard and Bernard Stein sold The Riverdale Press to another pair of brothers, Stuart and Clifford Richner of Richner Communications, publishers of 28 Long Island community newspapers.[16] The Steins remain on the masthead as publishers emeriti.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/seton-park/history
  2. ^ http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/zoning/districts-tools/special-purpose-districts-bronx.page
  3. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/nyregion/04riverdale.html
  4. ^ http://riverdalepress.com/stories/remembering-the-adventure,36517?
  5. ^ https://contest.nynewspapers.com/Docs/2017_ContestRules_newX.pdf
  6. ^ . The Riverdale Press. The Riverdale Press. 16 April 2018 http://www.riverdalepress.com/stories/press-captures-four-statewide-awards-including-best-design,65320?. Retrieved 28 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/10/obituaries/david-stein-publisher-of-the-riverdale-press.html
  8. ^ "New editor is committed to community news". The Riverdale Press. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  9. ^ Office of Weekly Paper in Riverdale Is Firebombed, By DAVID E. PITT, New York Times, Wednesday, March 1, 1989 [1]
  10. ^ Violence against the press: policing the public sphere in U.S. history, By John C. Nerone, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 204
  11. ^ "Riverdale Press To Be Honored", Tuesday, May 9, 1989
  12. ^ https://blstein718.wordpress.com/1989/02/28/the-tyrant-and-his-chains/
  13. ^ http://www.pulitzer.org/article/we-shall-not-be-silenced
  14. ^ The 1998 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Editorial Writing
  15. ^ http://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-category/214
  16. ^ New owners to continue family tradition at Press - The Riverdale Press

External linksEdit