COLUMBUS — The Blade was lauded Wednesday night by political leaders and its Ohio peers alike in recognition of the newspaper's 175th year of publishing.
During a Blade reception at the Ohio Newspaper Association's annual convention, Gov. Ted Strickland praised the newspaper as "a recognized news leader for investigative journalism, indeed living up to its original motto, ‘Truth without fear'."
Presenting a resolution on behalf of the Ohio House, Rep. Matt Szollosi (D., Oregon) said The Blade is "the pillar of strength within the community, established in 1835. The Blade predates the city of Toledo itself."
Sen. Mark Wagoner (R., Ottawa Hills) presented a resolution on behalf of the Ohio Senate, noting that his first job was as a carrier for the newspaper while in the third grade.
"It goes without saying the tremendous work The Blade has done, a Pulitzer in 2004, the great work they did with Coingate, frankly cleaning up a lot of problems in our party a few years ago," he said.
Joseph H. Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade, accepted resolutions on behalf of the Block family, which has owned the newspaper since 1926. Afterward, Mr. Zerbey said he sees a bright future for the newspaper industry despite its problems of the last few years.
"This is probably the best newsroom I've ever worked with," he said. "It's a phenomenally local newspaper. You have to tell them [readers] what's going on in Afghanistan and you have to tell them what's going on in Washington, but you've really got to tell them what's going on in Toledo, northwest Ohio, and southeast Michigan. The Blade does a really good job of that."
The Blade first published a four-page edition on Dec. 19, 1835, replicas of which were given to those attending the annual newspaper meeting.