On the first page of the first issue of The Trump of Fame, published June 9, 1812, 200 years ago this week, Editor Thomas Denny Webb expounded on his paper's ''Editorial Prospectus.''
The prospectus, in part, stated ''his paper shall be open to the decent communications of any political faith, with liberty to himself of commenting upon any thing that shall be offered for publication ...
''Men frequently involve themselves in private feuds and to vent their spleen and malignity against each other, make a newspaper the vehicle of their slanderous tales. News of this kind can never be interesting to the community, and they may be assured that no consideration, either of favor or of a pecuniary kind, shall ever induce the editor to permit its insertion.''
It was in the Western Reserve, where the state of Ohio had just celebrated its ninth birthday, that Webb published this first, four-page edition of The Trump of Fame in his adopted home of Warren. Webb had moved to Warren from Windham, Conn., shortly after admission to the bar in 1805.
It published every Tuesday and was forwarded "as early as possible'' to subscribers at $2 a year in advance or $2.50 if not paid until the end of the year.
Little more than a year later, that fledgling newspaper scooped every newspaper in the nation. On Sept. 14, 1813, Trump of Fame was the first in America to carry news of Commodore Perry's victory at the Battle of Lake Erie.
After the battle, an express messenger dispatched by Perry to his commanding officer in Pittsburgh stopped overnight in Warren, which, according to some stories, was his hometown. He reported the news of the Friday battle and the Trump published it in its next edition Tuesday.
"That shows you the scope of news at that day,'' Trumbull County historian Wendell Lauth said recently. "Today, news is instantaneous.''
And so it is. Two-hundred years later, that newspaper has grown into the Tribune Chronicle, a full-color daily publication offering instantaneous updates and video via the Internet.
The bicentennial of newspaper publishing will be celebrated this week with a Founders Festival on Friday and Saturday at Warren's Courthouse Square Park, just a short distance from the spot that first paper had been published in an office at Market and Liberty streets in what now is downtown Warren.
Like most frontier newspapers of the day, that early newspaper's content focused on national news copied from eastern papers.
"So it was the major news carrier of any news,'' Lauth said. "It was spreading the word of what was going on in the country. Things came from the East by various means to be put in the paper.''
Also published in that first edition, Webb expounded at length on the mission stated in the prospectus.
''Every editor of a newspaper has an object, which he is striving to attain. The man confident of his powers of mind writes for celebrity; the factious demagogue, that he may be leading villain of a mob; and too many are obliged to write for their bread.
''The editor of this paper had an object, which he sought after when he issued his prospectus. Conscious that he must be numbered among that class of beings called mortals; he was sensible, that he was liable to all the weaknesses incident to that state of existence.
''He thought, therefore, that it would be improper for him to give evidence of his political sentiment before the tribunal of public opinion like the rest of his fellow worms of the dust, he must be influenced by sinister motives; and whatever he might say, would be suspected.''
Webb retired from newspapering in 1814 and practiced law until 1857. Samuel Quinby, son of Warren founder Ephraim Quinby, bought the newspaper and changed the name to the less pretentious sounding Western Reserve Chronicle.