The State’s Voice, Harnett County Newspaper with A Strong Editorial Voice, Added to DigitalNC

Black and white masthead of the February 15, 1933 issue of The State's Voice

Issues of The State’s Voice, published in Dunn, NC from 1933-1935, have been added to DigitalNC. Published by O. J. (Oscar J.) Peterson, this paper is much more of an editorial vehicle than many other papers at the time. The entire front page is devoted to his thoughts on one or more news items or topics of the day. His other interest was in writing informational essays about various parts of the state, like the one in this issue about Orange County and Hillsboro(ugh).

Over the years, Peterson managed a number of newspapers besides The State’s Voice including the Chatham Record, the Sampson Democrat, and the Lumberton Argus. Aligning with the Democratic platform of the time, Peterson expresses strong opinions in his paper about prohibition, public education, and economics. His editorials are so pointed that they are alternatively lauded or criticized in other papers.

In the final issue of the paper, Peterson says: “The publication of the State’s Voice has been an interesting experience, or experiment, in several respects.” The paper was intended to be read statewide, and was launched upon a “highly intellectual basis with a confessed non-public appeal.” He seems to attribute the demise of the paper in part to a lack of intellectuality amongst his subscribers, despite many of them being prominent in the state.

This paper was added on behalf of the Harnett County Public Library. You can view all of the materials contributed to DigitalNC from Harnett County Public Library on their contributor page.

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