Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Christopher H. Sterling
A feature syndicate is a supplier offering an often quite considerable menu of comics, editorial cartoons, columns, and other features for newspapers across the country. Papers pay a subscription fee for what they select to use, the fee varying by the size of the market and circulation of the subscribing paper. Feature syndicates help broaden the non-news content offerings of newspapers, especially those in smaller communities, by providing national markets for print and graphic material. Feature syndication in the American press has a long history—back to before the Revolution in one case, though really starting a century later with pre-printed features distributed to rural nineteenth-century weekly newspapers. Modern syndicates serving the daily press developed early in the twentieth century around popular comic strips, political columnists, and other features. The first informally syndicated feature in American journalism appears to have been “Journal of Occurrences,” a propaganda column written in Boston in ...