Personal Observations

Claude Walker

Originally published for Forest Park Review on July 16, 1969, page 4

 Woe is me, since I started harping on the effect of large apartment and condominium buildings here, and the influx of residents, in our community of folks from the more congested areas of our Country and other community papers are experiencing the same conditions and there are many facets to be discussed regarding the impact of the new residents.

               Some editions ago I wrote on the urbanizing of the communities rather the suburbanizing of the residents, who are coming here to live.  More and more of this is materializing.  People come here from Chicago and live here just as they did in that big town.  There is certainly nothing wrong about living like his, in fact I think maybe it’s better.  Gone are the ‘over the fence’ conversations, the “koffee klatches’ and the cocktail hour.  The newcomers, especially from Chicago, mind their own business, come and go, and rarely become interested in the social life of the community.

Newspapers in the various communities where such housing projects are prevalent are concerned, and meetings are being held to see how more circulation can be obtained from this particular group.

Recently at a meeting of Cook County Suburban Publishers, 103 papers in Cook Count outside of Chicago were represented.  It was generally agreed that it was most difficult to interest the people in the local paper.  There were no ties to the community that would interest these folks in reading such a paper, and unless you were fortunate enough to have some news that actually concerned them, you just couldn’t sell your paper.  I believe that the conclusions of the National Newspaper Association after a meeting of the Suburban newspapers from the whole country just about hits it on the head:



‘How do you reach those high-rise dwellers?  This is a question that still plagues may publisher of suburban newspaper.

Robert Goodman of the Cherry Hill (N.J.) Suburban Newspaper Group, said they had tried to reach the high-rise dwellers by having a correspondent in each apartment.  This was a failure, he told member of the Suburban Newspaper Section (N.J.)

The correspondents found that people rarely were home and those that were, were not interested in getting their names in the newspaper.

Willliam Litvany, Bloomfield (N.J.) Independent Pres, said they have “worked like mad’ to build circulation in apartments with no success.

It seems apartments are the bedroom communities within the bedroom communities.  Litvany said they have come to the conclusion that people are just living in apartments until they save enough money to buy a house.

However, Louis Lerner, of Lerner Newspaper in Chicago, said they solve the problem by starting a newspaper especially for apartment dwellers.’

And so it goes, I’m happy to have these folks in our town.  The more the merrier, they are good people striving to better themselves, an asset to our community, carrying out the trend of urban people moving to suburban areas who wish to maintain their urban status.