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West Virginia Press Association


The West Virginia Press Association was formed in 1869 to promote journalism and the welfare of newspapers in the state. The association was organized by a group of editors and publishers who met in Parkersburg after several months of correspondence. Originally, nearly all West Virginia newspapers were represented in the association.

The Press Association became inactive sometime after 1911. The organization remained dormant for three or four years, then was revived and underwent several name changes before resuming its original name in 1954. In recent years, the association has focused on freedom of information issues involving juvenile court coverage, access to crime scenes, cameras in courtrooms, and the like. The association is headquartered in Charleston, and association lobbyists routinely visit the legislature to monitor legislation of interest to newspaper publishers. The Press Association also provides for the joint placement of advertisements in newspapers and provides other services to its members.

Over the years more than 1,300 newspapers have been published in West Virginia, with the most in existence at any one time peaking at about 150 in the late 1940s. By 2013, the number of papers in the state had declined to 21 dailies and 58 weeklies.

Written by Kay Michael