The Pantagraph serves as Bloomington-Normal's local news source. For updated information and recent stories and events please visit the website


The Pantagraph as it is known today began back in 1853. The paper was started under R. B. Mitchell, who was a descendant of Jesse W. Fell. Fell was a very influential figure in the Heartland area at the time, helping to found a number of area towns and Illinois State University. As it turns out, the Pantagraph would continue to be published and owned by descendants of Jesse W. Fell for over 100 years.

Early on, there were two papers printed in the Bloomington area. The Bulletin was largely a Democratic paper, while the Pantagraph served the Republican side. When the Bulletin was purchased by the Pantagraph in 1927, the Pantagraph shifted to a neutral political stance and has remained there ever since.

The Pantagraph has also been a pioneer in journalism. It was the first paper to ever fill a job slot for a full-time agricultural editor, and even today remains a very strong agricultural paper. The Pantagraph has also been a leader in the use of images to aid news stories. In 1966, the United Press International gave the Pantagraph an award of excellence for its work in covering the death of Adlai E. Stevenson. The Pantagraph also earned a Community Service award from the Inland Daily Press Association for its cooperation in a pilot project helmed by University of Illinois.

For the last couple decades of the 20th Century, the paper was published by Pulitzer, Inc. Then, in 2005, Lee Enterprises acquired Pulitzer, Inc. and the daily papers it published. Lee Enterprises has also been a pioneering entity in news, owning the first newspaper in the world to be produced entirely by computer in 1973.

Present Day

Today, the Pantagraph continues to service the area by providing up-to-date news and relevant information. The paper has expanded with the times to include an online site, found at Papers are printed every morning starting as early as 11pm the previous day and are out to their destinations across McLean and neighboring counties by 3am. Not only does the paper hold host to current events and news, but area businesses advertise with the paper. Their ads often contain excellent deals from local stores and businesses that you might not otherwise know about. The Pantagraph runs advertisements every day with the most ad-plentiful days being Thursday and Sunday.

The paper itself is well-organized and easy to navigate through. Sections and features are almost always found in the same place, and the advertisements are put in the middle. If you are ever looking for humor in your morning paper, Bill Flick’s columns are usually a good place to turn. Also, a feature titled “Our Nation and World” is printed in the A section on most days (just after the Opinion feature), and the number 1 item is almost always a little tidbit of news that is too amusing to have been made up.