Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Detroit News in a 1970 Film

News coverage has always been a lightning rod attracting criticism from all quarters.

In “Both Sides of the Question,” a 1970 film about the Michigan newspaper, the Detroit News, the then editor of the paper said some complain it is too liberal, others that it is too conservative.

“The day we get no complaints is the day we’ve put out a dull newspaper,” he said.

Whether conservative, liberal, exciting or dull, what made this movie interesting to me was watching the staffers doing their jobs in the era of typewriters, teletypes, and Linotype machines, and when smoking was permitted in the office.

Recently, I told some teenagers that I went to work in the final days of typewriters and ashtrays on desks. From their expressions you would have thought I was talking about life in ancient Rome.

As for the movie, this 27-minute film, shot like a documentary, was produced by the Detroit News to promote itself as an even-handed reporter of the news.

As a fan of corporate films, I found this one to be an enjoyable glimpse at a time long past.


  1. The Detroit News has always been the more conservative newspaper; the FREE PRESS, the more liberal. It's amazing they are both still around-in a very lesser state though. I moved to Detroit in 1970 btw.

    1. Patti – That is the current state of most newspapers. At least Detroit still has two. Too many cities are down to one daily.

  2. Interesting post, Elgin. I can recall an office environment like that 10 years after. I started work in 1981.