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POINT OF VIEW

POINT OF VIEW began as an attempt to explain the causes behind the urban unrest of the 1960s and became Cleveland's foremost example of alternative or advocacy journalism. Although issues were undated for the first few years, the first number appeared in June 1968. It was the creation of Roldo Bartimole, a native of Connecticut and former reporter for the PLAIN DEALER and the Cleveland office of the Wall St. Journal. Bartimole's objective was to uncover stories that were being ignored by the mass media, particularly those that exposed the behind-the-scenes operations of the power structure. Ignoring canons of objectivity, he openly took sides on issues but avoided making endorsements. His most consistent beat was reporting what he perceived as the transgressions of the establishment media, particularly those of his former employer, the Plain Dealer. Other targets of Bartimole's muckraking included local foundations, public utilities, and even the fundraising tactics of the UNITED WAY. From its inception, Point of View remained a 1-man operation, "fiercely independent," in the words of the proprietor. A sheet of 4 letter-sized pages, it appeared biweekly except for single issues in July, August, and December. It was sold primarily by subscription; its circulation rose from 300 in the first year to over 700 in the 1990s. Local politicians and outside observers agreed that Point of View exerted an influence far out of proportion to its size and circulation, however. It was called the country's sharpest media critic by media watcher Jas. Aronsonk.