The Press Feed

How the Civil War gave birth to modern journalism in the nation’s capital

Newspaper Row


NATIONAL ARCHIVES - "Newspaper Row, Washington, D.C." Engraving from "Harper's New Monthly Magazine," Jan. 1874.


The life of a newspaper correspondent in pre-Civil War Washington was marked by insultingly low wages, uncertain job security and frequent charges of inaccurate or biased reporting.

So, in a way, not much has changed in 150 years.

But the onset of the conflict in 1861 acted like a spike of adrenaline for the city’s journalists. The hostilities generated a flood of news and rumor in a city suddenly bursting with wartime energy. With Union newspapers hungry for any information about the unfolding catastrophe, newspapermen, and a few newspaperwomen, flocked to the capital.

Continue reading at The Washington Post