Open main menu

The Patriot-News is the largest newspaper serving the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area. In 2005, the newspaper was ranked in the top 100 in daily/Sunday circulation in the United States. It has been owned by Advance Publications since 1947.

The Patriot-News
The Patriot News cover.gif
The front page of
The Patriot-News
TypeThree-times a week newspaper
Owner(s)Advance Publications
PublisherD. Lee Carlson
EditorCate Barron
Opinion editorJohn L. Micek
Sports editorBurke Noel
FoundedMarch 4, 1854 (as The Patriot)
Headquarters2020 Technology Pkwy, Ste. 300
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
 United States

On August 28, 2012, the newspaper's publisher announced that it would shift to a three-day print publication schedule beginning January 1, 2013, and expand its digital focus on its website,, and social-media platforms. This followed similar moves at other Advance-owned publications.[2] It is now published Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, as of May 4, 2015, LNP, a seven-day newspaper based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is printed in the same facility as The Patriot-News.


The Patriot-News officially traces its history to March 4, 1854, with the founding of The Daily Patriot. Its heritage dates, however, to December 1820, involving a weekly newspaper named The Pennsylvania Intelligencer. In 1855, The Patriot bought the Democratic Union, successor of the Intelligencer, and merged them into The Patriot & Union. It was a weekly paper, but published three days a week when the legislature was in session. It became a daily publication again in 1868 as The Morning Patriot, changing its name to the Harrisburg Daily Patriot in 1875 and dropping Harrisburg from its masthead in 1890. The other half of the paper began in 1917 as The Evening News. In 1947, both papers were bought by Edwin Russell, with financial backing from the Newhouse chain, forerunner of Advance Publications. Later that year, the Newhouse chain assumed majority ownership, though Russell remained as the papers' driving force until his death in 2001.[3] In 1996, The Patriot and Evening News merged into a single morning paper, The Patriot-News.[4]

For many years, The Patriot-News was infamous for an editorial printed by its predecessor, The Patriot & Union, on November 24, 1863, in which it dismissed the Gettysburg Address as "silly remarks" that should disappear into "a veil of oblivion." On November 14, 2013, The Patriot-News issued a retraction, saying the Patriot & Union editorial board failed to recognize the "momentous importance, timeless eloquence, and lasting significance" of the Gettysburg Address, and claimed that this failure was so egregious "that it cannot remain unaddressed in our archives."[5] The retraction received considerable national coverage; NPR and Fox News Channel interviewed several of the paper's editors. Deputy opinion page editor Matthew Zencey said the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address was the perfect time to ask, "Gee, can you believe what rock heads ran this outfit 150 years ago?"[6]

From 1953 to 1980, The Patriot and The Evening News were operated alongside south-central Pennsylvania's ABC affiliate, WTPA. That station was sold to Times Mirror with the rest of the Newhouse television division in 1980 and is now WHTM-TV, owned by Nexstar Media Group.

Awards, honors, and special noticeEdit

Despite its modest size, The Patriot-News has consistently won top state journalism awards in competition with Pennsylvania's largest newspapers. In 2012, Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim and staff were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story of the Penn State sex abuse scandal.[7][8]

In 2003, the paper won the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association]s G. Richard Dew Award for Journalistic Service for its coverage of the attempted sale of Hershey Foods. In 2004, the newspaper was named as one of "10 That Do It Right" by Editor & Publisher magazine. The newspaper has won the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association's Keystone Press Award Division I Sweepstakes, which goes to the large metro newspaper that wins the most journalism awards, in 2004, 2006, and 2010, competing against the newspapers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown as the smallest paper in that division.[citation needed]

The year 2004 also began a run in the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association's Newspaper of the Year Awards unmatched in the contest's history. The Patriot-News has been either first or second place as the state's Newspaper of the Year for seven years in a row, with first-place wins in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010. The contest includes more than 50 newspapers from across the state, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.[citation needed]

The newspaper's reporters have won the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association's Distinguished Writing Award multiple times, most recently to reporter John Luciew in 2013.[9] The first award went to reporter Jim Lewis in 2001, 2004, and 2005. Reporter Ford Turner won second place in 2008 and first place in 2010.

In 2007, public watchdog reporter Jan Murphy won a First Amendment award from the Associated Press Managing Editors for her stories uncovering profligate spending at PHEAA, the state agency that gives college loans to students. That same year, reporter Ford Turner won the APME's Public Service award for uncovering an unusually high rate of cancer among residents of a small neighborhood of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Murphy also won first prize in investigative reporting from the National Education Writers Association for her stories on PHEAA spending.[citation needed]

The World Association of Newspapers Young Reader Prize for Newspaper in Education in 2007 was awarded to The Patriot-News for its SchoolHouse News program with the Harrisburg (Pa.) School District.[citation needed]

Investigative reporter Pete Shellem, who died in 2009, received widespread recognition for his work in freeing the innocent from prison. Shellem's stories in The Patriot-News resulted in the release of four people who had been convicted of murder: Patty Carbone, who had served 11 years; Steven Crawford, who had served 28 years; Barry Laughman, who had served 16 years; and David Gladden, who had served 12 years. His reporting also freed Charles Dubs, who had served five years on a rape conviction. In The New York Times obituary for Shellem, Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, called him "a rare, one-man journalism innocence project."[10]

Crime reporter and Penn State grad Sara Ganim began gaining national attention in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal after coach Jerry Sandusky's indictment in November 2011. Ganim had written a substantial piece in March 2011, when few others were covering the story. Among other follow-ups, she then spoke to two of the mothers of alleged victims for the paper in the immediate wake of the indictment. “You can credit the Patriot-News with giving me the time a reporter needs to cover this kind of story," she said to a New York media columnist who specially noted her coverage.[11] Ganim garnered a number of awards and notices for the reporting[12][13][14][15] and, in March 2012, the Scripps Howard Award for Community Journalism.[16] In April 2012, Ganim and the news staff were awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for the coverage.[7]


In 2012, the paper drew 476,000 readers weekly in print and on PennLive. As of November 2018, the newsstand price was $1.50 daily and $3 for the Sunday edition.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Audity Bureau of Circulation Audience Fax". Audit Bureau of Circulation. 2012.
  2. ^ "Patriot-News and will form PA Media Group". The Patriot-News. Advance Publications. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  3. ^ "History of the Harrisburg Patriot-News". The Patriot-News. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-01-25.
  4. ^ "About The Evening News. (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1917-1996". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Retraction for our 1863 editorial calling Gettysburg Address 'silly remarks'". The Patriot-News. 2013-11-14.
  6. ^ Luciew, John (2013-11-15). "After 150 years of infamy for panning Gettysburg Address, newspaper receives huge, nationwide reaction for overdue retraction". The Patriot-News.
  7. ^ a b "The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners - Local Reporting". Columbia University. April 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  8. ^ "Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, PA". The Pulitzer Prizes. 2012.
  9. ^ Kiner, Deb (March 22, 2013). "PennLive/Patriot-News staffers win 11 Keystone Press Awards". The Patriot-News.
  10. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (October 31, 2009). "Peter Shellem, Investigative Reporter Who Wrote About Wrongful Convictions, Dies at 49". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Friedman, Jon, "Ganim: Star reporter on Penn State scandal", MarketWatch, November 14, 2011, 12:00 am EST. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  12. ^ Moos, Julie, "Polk Awards honor Sara Ganim, Anthony Shadid, California Watch, Advertiser Democrat", Poynter, February 21, 2012 updated. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  13. ^ "150 Women Who Shake the World". March 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
  14. ^ "Sara Ganim Wins December Sidney". The Sidney Hillman Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  15. ^ "Meet the Woman Who Exposed Jerry Sandusky". Glamour Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  16. ^ "Sara Ganim and The Patriot-News receive Scripps Howard Award for Community Journalism", March 16, 2012 updated 12:15 pm. Retrieved 2012-03-25.

External linksEdit