homeaboutarchivepodcastnewslettermembership!
aboutarchivepodcastmembership!
aboutarchivemembers!

An Online Collection of American Prison Newspapers (1800-2020)

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 22, 2021

cover of the Anarchist Black Dragon, a prison newspaper

cover of Scroll, a prison newspaper

an article called The Wheat Field at Gettysburg published in a prison newspaper

cover of Our Thing, a prison newspaper

cover of The Bridge, a prison newspaper

Since 1800, when the first newspaper was published in a NYC prison, over 500 newspapers have been published in prisons around the country. JSTOR is hosting a growing archive of such publications: American Prison Newspapers 1800-2020: Voices from the Inside.

With the United States incarcerating more individuals than any other nation — over 2 million as of 2019 — these publications represent a vast dimension of media history. These publications depict and report on all manner of life within the walls of prisons, from the quotidian to the upsetting. Incarcerated journalists walk a tightrope between oversight by administration — even censorship-and seeking to report accurately on their experiences inside. Some publications were produced with the sanction of institutional authorities; others were produced underground.

(thx, caroline)