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San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury News

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The San Jose Mercury News is a daily newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 in San Jose, California
San Jose, California
San Jose is the third-largest city in California, the tenth-largest in the U.S., and the county seat of Santa Clara County which is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay...

. On its web site, however, it calls itself Silicon Valley Mercury News. The paper is owned by MediaNews Group
MediaNews Group
MediaNews Group, based in Denver, Colorado, is one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. It is privately owned and operates 56 daily newspapers in 12 states, with combined daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.4 million and 2.7 million, respectively...

. Its headquarters and printing plant are located in North San Jose next to the Nimitz Freeway (Interstate 880)
Interstate 880
Interstate 880 is an Interstate Highway in the San Francisco Bay Area connecting San Jose and Oakland, running parallel to the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay...

.

The Mercury News was one of the first newspapers to publish on the internet.

History


The San Jose Mercury was founded in 1851 as the San Jose Weekly Visitor, while the San Jose News was founded in 1883. In 1942 the Mercury purchased the News and continued publishing both newspapers, with the Mercury as the morning paper and the News as the evening paper. In 1983 the papers were merged into the San Jose Mercury News, with morning and afternoon editions. The afternoon edition was later abandoned.

The paper says that the name "Mercury" refers to the importance of the mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 industry during the California Gold Rush
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands , and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to...

, when the city's New Almaden Mines (now Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Almaden Quicksilver County Park
Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a 4,147 acres park that includes the grounds of former mercury mines adjacent to south San Jose, California, USA...

) were the largest producer of mercury in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. The name has a dual meaning, as Mercury
Mercury (mythology)
Mercury was a messenger who wore winged sandals, and a god of trade, the son of Maia Maiestas and Jupiter in Roman mythology. His name is related to the Latin word merx , mercari , and merces...

 is the Roman messenger of the gods as well as the god of commerce and thieves, known for his swiftness, and the name Mercury is commonly used for newspapers without the quicksilver association.

Because of its location in Silicon Valley, the Mercury News has covered many of the key events in the history of computing.
Ridder bought the Mercury and News in 1952. Ridder merged with Knight to form Knight Ridder
Knight Ridder
Knight Ridder was an American media company, specializing in newspaper and Internet publishing. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company on June 27, 2006, it was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, with 32 daily newspapers sold.- History :The corporate ancestors of...

 in 1974.

In August 1996, the newspaper published Gary Webb's
Gary Webb
Gary Webb was a Pulitzer prize-winning American investigative journalist.Webb was best known for his 1996 "Dark Alliance" series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book...

 "Dark Alliance", a series of investigative articles linking the CIA to Nicaraguan
Nicaraguan
Nicaraguans are people inhabiting in, originating or having significant heritage from Nicaragua. Most Nicaraguans live in Nicaragua, although there is also a significant Nicaraguan diaspora, particularly in Costa Rica and the United States with smaller communities in other countries around the world...

 contras organizing the distribution of cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 into United States. While first enthusiastic about the story, eight months later the executive editor would claim the story was faulty, in a letter to readers in which he stated: "I believe that we fell short at every step of our process."

On March 13, 2006, The McClatchy Company
The McClatchy Company
The McClatchy Company is a publicly traded American publishing company based in Sacramento, California. It operates 30 daily newspapers in 15 states and has an average weekday circulation of 2.2 million and Sunday circulation of 2.8 million...

 announced their agreement to purchase Knight Ridder. McClatchy decided that it would be expedient to explore the immediate resale of the Mercury News.

On April 26, 2006, it was announced that Denver
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

-based MediaNews Group
MediaNews Group
MediaNews Group, based in Denver, Colorado, is one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. It is privately owned and operates 56 daily newspapers in 12 states, with combined daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.4 million and 2.7 million, respectively...

 would buy the Mercury News. However, on June 12, 2006, federal regulators from the U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 asked for more time to review the purchase, citing possible anti-trust concerns over MediaNews' ownership of other newspapers in the region. Although approval by regulators and completion of MediaNews' acquisition was announced on August 2, 2006, a lawsuit claiming antitrust violations by MediaNews and the Hearst Corporation
Hearst Corporation
The Hearst Corporation is an American media conglomerate based in the Hearst Tower, Manhattan in New York City, New York, United States. Founded by William Randolph Hearst as an owner of newspapers, the company's holdings now include a wide variety of media...

 had also been filed in July 2006.

The suit, which sought to undo the purchase of both the Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times
The Contra Costa Times is a daily newspaper based in Walnut Creek, California, U.S.. The paper serves Contra Costa and eastern Alameda counties, in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area...

, was scheduled to go to trial on April 30, 2007. While extending until that date a preliminary injunction which prevented collaboration of local distribution and national advertising sales by the two media conglomerates, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on December 19, 2006 expressed doubt over the legality of the purchase. On April 25, 2007, days before the trial was scheduled to begin, the parties reached a settlement in which MediaNews preserved its acquisitions.

Awards



The newspaper has earned several awards, including two Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

s, one in 1986 for reporting regarding political corruption in the Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

 administration in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, and one in 1989 for their comprehensive coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake
Loma Prieta earthquake
The Loma Prieta earthquake, also known as the Quake of '89 and the World Series Earthquake, was a major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area of California on October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m. local time...

. The Mercury News was also named one of the five best-designed newspapers in the world by the Society for News Design
Society for News Design
The Society for News Design is an international organization for professionals working in the news sector of the media industry, specifically those involved with graphic design, illustration, web design and infographics....

 for work done in 2001.

Coverage


The paper's local coverage and circulation is concentrated on Silicon Valley, the Peninsula, the East Bay, Marin County and San Francisco. Regular columnists include Gary Richards(transportation), Mark Purdy(sports), Lisa M. Krieger(Stanford), and Chris O'Brien(business).

External links