230. Newspapers on Intrepid

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Level: Third Deck

Third Deck

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Beginning in 1943, the crew of Intrepid published a newspaper that reflected daily life on the ship.

Video: Newspapers on Intrepid

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For an audio-described version, use the video below

Collection Connection

Cover of the ship’s newspaper featuring a collage of photographs of sailors’ hands at work.
Cover of The Achiever, June 1971

During Intrepid’s 1971–1972 cruise, the ship’s newspaper the Achiever dedicated each issue to a different pressing social issue of the day. The June 1971 issue tackled racism and its legacy in the U.S. Navy. The cover features photographs of the hands of Black sailors at work around the ship. The feature article “ALL HANDS are not white,” explains the cover’s significance: “…[A]ll hands are not white on Intrepid, or for that matter, in the entire Navy. The Navy, as a microcosm of the total American community[,] is confronted with many of the challenges of that community.”

Collection of the Intrepid Museum. Gift of Dennis Byrne. A2011.10

Learn More: Newspapers on Intrepid

When Intrepid was out to sea, the ship’s newspaper kept the crew informed and entertained. Usually published monthly, this paper had different titles over the years: Intrepid (1943–1945), The Ketcher (1954–1966) and The Achiever (1967–1973).

The ship’s leaders used the newspaper to communicate with the crew. Intrepid’s captains offered mission updates and words of encouragement, and the ship’s chaplain counseled the young men in his care. The paper carried news about pay, benefits and promotion.

The paper also reflected the crew’s interests, mostly sports, comic strips and pin-up girls. In “man on the street” interviews, sailors candidly answered questions that ranged from the whimsical (“What do you want from Santa?”) to the serious (“What do you feel is the position of the Black man in the Navy?”).

Each crew put their own unique stamp on the paper. During World War II, Intrepid printed earnest articles on the ship’s mission alongside playful naval satires and syndicated comic strips. Reporters for Ketcher wrote in-depth profiles of outstanding crew members. Achiever favored feature stories on important social issues. The paper’s look also changed over time. Artists contributed drawings, cartoons and cover art. 

Read like a sailor! Digitization of the ship’s newspapers is ongoing. You can browse select issues of Intrepid’s newspaper collection here

A team of trained sailors produced Intrepid’s newspapers. Sailors with the rating of journalist wrote the stories. The lithographers in the print shop laid out and printed each issue. Photographer’s mates took photographs of shipboard events, port of call visits and the crew at work.

With the rise of digital media, the Navy reassessed its communication strategies, as well as the skills required. In 2006, the Navy created a new rating: mass communication specialist (MC). This rating merged four existing ratings: photographer’s mate, journalist, lithographer and illustrator draftsman.

MCs share stories about the U.S. Navy through writing, photography, videography and graphic design in a variety of formats. On an active aircraft carrier today, the media departments look like modern offices, with computers and printers. Today, MCs can instantly share stories about the fleet on Navy websites and social media, a boon for families hoping to learn more about their loved ones’ experiences at sea.

Panel Photo: This is a description of the image printed on the panel for this stop at the museum.

Photo description: Front page of the ship’s newspaper, The Ketcher. The headline reads “Intrepid Arrives in Manhattan,” with picture of the west side of Manhattan skyline.

Caption: USS Intrepid newspaper, May 16, 1958.

Credit: Gift of James A. Rieger. A2009.46


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