Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Closings and Delays

The Western Activist, a 1960s-era student newspaper published at WMU, is now online

Black and white montage illustration of people, some in helmets, Mayor Richard J Daley (just the face and larger than everyone else), the water tower, and other imagery symbolizing Chicago
The Western Activist
The Western Activist's September 12, 1968 edition featured reporting on the large-scale protests that took place in late August in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.

The paper had a four-year run, from the fall of 1966 through the summer of 1969.

In the 1960s, students at Western Michigan University published an anti-war, countercultural newspaper. Now the Western Activist, as it was known, has been digitized.

The paper covered the Black Panther movement and protests against the Vietnam War among many other topics.

Then-student Dan Foley wrote the Activist’s first article. He said the team that worked on the paper – published by the campus group Students for Social Involvement – wanted to engage with the day’s urgent political problems.

“Let’s not just be the people who talk about it but the people who do something about it,” he said.

The Activist frequently called out Western’s official student newspaper, the Western Herald, for allegedly ignoring or misinterpreting the social movements it covered.

Richard Miner was an academic advisor for and a contributor to the Activist.

“I was extremely pleased that this would come to light again,” he said, “and that people could look back and see what we were thinking and writing at the time, because I think it’s still relevant.”

Though the paper was published at Western, Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library hosts the archive.

Western also has links to the archives of several other newspapers that have been published in Kalamazoo, including Focus News, which covered the African-American community; The Augustinian, which published local Catholic news; and the alternative weekly the Kalamazoo News.