” … This newspaper is an experiment. We are attempting to do that which has never been done before. To succeed in that experiment, we must have the support of all who believe in what we are doing …”
And nearly 50 years since founder and first Editor-in-Chief Patrick Korten published his editorial “A Monopoly Ends,” The Badger Herald has remained true to the vision of being a truly independent newspaper that serves as an experiment — constantly adapting to the tidal waves of change in the always evolving world of journalism.
The Badger Herald began as an experiment — a conservative counterpoint to a campus then captured by the wave of liberalism of the 1960s. While it has since shied away from its conservative roots, it has remained firm in Korten’s original vision: To run a newspaper that would focus on Madison and issues facing University of Wisconsin students.
After a lifetime of dedication to the pursuit of individual liberty, religious liberty and the free market, Patrick Korten passed away on March 29, 2018, in Fairfax, Virginia. He was 70 years old, and is survived by his wife of 44 years, Anita Norfolk, his three sons — Patrick J., Brian and Sean — and his granddaughter Erin.
Along with others, Korten founded the The Badger Herald as a direct response to the then-radical campus and The Daily Cardinal. After months of raising money, looking for furniture, equipment and offices for rent, the first issue of The Badger Herald was published on September 10, 1969.
In its principal years, Korten ensured The Badger Herald maintained editorial independence by seeing to it that the paper remained solvent through advertising sales, refusing money from the university and even gaining support and donations from popular conservative figures such as William F. Buckley.
After graduating from UW with a bachelor’s in political science, Korten continued his career in journalism by working as an anchormen and reported for WTOP News Radio from 1975 to 1981.
Afterwards, he worked as the director of policy and communications for the United States Office of Personal Management. Later, he worked for the United States Department of Justice — first as the deputy director of public affairs for four years before being promoted to the director of public affairs.
Thereafter, Korten served as the vice president of communications for both the Cato Institue and The Becket Fund For Religious Liberty.
In his later years, Korten served as the senior vice president of communications for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic-based fraternal service organization.
We hold a small tradition at The Badger Herald. Before we begin training new staff members, the Editor-in-Chief reads Korten’s “A Monopoly Ends” editorial to new and returning staff. It is a reminder of how far the paper has come, and the possibilities that lie ahead.
For nearly 50 years, The Badger Herald has served as a truly independent student newspaper on the University of Wisconsin campus, a platform for all student voices and a never-ending experiment — and we have Korten to thank for that.