Forgotten Serials of Rochester, Part 2: We

When people find out you’re a librarian, you are expected to have the answers to all sorts of questions at your fingertips (Wouldn’t that be nice!). Surprisingly, when people find out that I work in the Local History Division, the one with all the old newspapers, one of the questions most oft-asked is, “Do you have any copies of We?”

Well…we do! (Couldn’t resist.)

For a 40-year period beginning just around the tail-end of the Second World War, Rochester had its very own tabloid newspaper entitled We: The Newsmagazine. It featured stories and big headlines gleaned from then-current police reports and presented to an eager and loyal reading public hungry for the kind of sensationalism that a global war had led them to expect. Founded in 1943 by John G. Corey, a former newsman himself, the tabloid was turned over to George Cooper Jr., after Corey’s death in 1966, traveling to new heights of luridness as it jockeyed for position with other scandal sheets in their heydays like the Enquirer (I would see both in the newspaper racks outside my neighborhood drugstore in the early ’70s).

When Corey first started his paper, his targets were more political, going as high as City Hall. Curt Gerling, in his classic Smugtown, U.S.A., praised the mag for taking on “the mighty.” But as time  marched on, sensation gave way to sensationalism, and the paper marched into history with feet low but head high. Herewith, a few examples of this lost “gem” of the Rochester press.

An early issue: Don Corey starts tilting at windmills.

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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: Altruism bedfellows with lurid.

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Lurid takes over, with a side of cheesecake.

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Welcome to the jungle: An interior example.

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The final issue: Proud and shameless to the finish.

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These and so much more of this glorious publication can be found in the archives of the Local History Division at the Central Library. Feel free to add reminiscences, make corrections, etc., in the comments below, and watch for more Forgotten Serials of Rochester soon!

~Bob Scheffel, Librarian

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Published in: on August 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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