Poilice reporter

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sun Feb 21 18:53:58 UTC 2010

There is a 120 year gap in the OED's citations for this term.

police reporter n. a newspaper reporter who concentrates on stories concerning crime and police activity.

1813 Times 29 Apr. 3/4 A *Police reporter, we understand, undertook to keep the transaction out of the papers. 1933 E. A. POWELL Slanting Lines of Steel xix. 299 The despatches which now appeared in the American papers were signed by former columnists, theatrical critics, police reporters, [etc.]

1843:   CHARGE AGAINST THE POLICE REPORTERS.  [a charge that $50 was paid to the police reporters of the Herald and several other papers, to suppress the story of an arrest]
        New York Herald, April 10, 1843, p. 2, col. 2  (I notice that this sort of allegation was already 30 years old in 1843.)

1849:   The above is furnished us by our Police Reporter. . . .
        New York Daily Globe, May 3, 1849, p. 2, col. 6  (At least this is from a newspaper not likely to be digitized any time soon.)


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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