publisher, St. Ignace News, chairman, Department of Journalism, UofM
Wesley Maurer (born in 1897) is the respected editor and publisher of the St. Ignace News who also spent more than four decades as a journalism educator at the University of Michigan. Born in Bunker Hill, Illinois, Maurer graduated from the University of Missouri with three bachelors degrees – in economics, public administration and journalism. He worked at the Mexico Ledger in Missouri and then spent a year as an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Michigan. After three years at the Athens (Ohio) Messenger, he returned to Ann Arbor in 1928. One of Murer’s first acts at the start of his academic career was to inaugurate the Michigan Journalist, a laboratory newspaper published eight times a school year. The publication continues to this day, six decades later. In 1948, Maurer was named department chairman at the U-M. He served in this role until 1966. As a university professor he developed a successful intern program for his students with such papers as the Milwaukee Journal, Baltimore Sun and Christian Science Monitor. Maurer’s entry into the world of “country” editors came in the late 1950’s when he asked the university to buy the weekly Town Crier on Mackinac Island and staff it with student interns. Maurer purchased the paper with the understanding that he would soon be reimbursed. Later on, school officials adopted new procedures and Maurer found himself as owner, publisher and editor of the tiny paper. Since then, Maurer has expanded his operations in northern Michigan. The St. Ignace News is a clever mix of local reports an learned discourses on national and international events. Maurer has always been interested in small communities. He once said, “I believe the newspaper is the basic element of the community, its institutions and life. The newspaper’s objective should be information.” After 65 years, Maurer continues to provide that information to his readers.