The Rapid City Journal (formerly the Black Hills Journal and the Rapid City Daily Journal) is the daily newspaper of Rapid City, South Dakota. It is the second-largest newspaper in South Dakota and covers Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The newspaper also publishes the Sturgis Rally Daily and Black Hills 2 Go, which are two special supplements. The Sturgis Rally Daily is published during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and Black Hills 2 Go is the weekly tourism and entertainment tab.
The Rapid City Journal began on January 5, 1878, as the Black Hills Journal. Publisher Joseph P. Gossage produced the first edition of the Black Hills Journal, which was four pages and had 250 subscribers. Printed in a log cabin on Rapid Street, the first newspaper was laboriously cranked out on a Washington hand printing press.
The newspaper printed its first daily paper and changed its name to the Rapid City Daily Journal on February 2, 1886. It continued to publish as both a daily and a weekly newspaper until 1929.
It has acted as a historical record for western South Dakota, covering major events like the 1972 Black Hills flood, the annual Buffalo Roundup and auction in Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial's annual volksmarch, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The order of previous publishers is as follows:
- Joseph P. Gossage - January 1878 to April 1925
- Alice Gossage - April 1925 to June 1925
- Charles Mitchell - June 1925 to April 1926
- E.F. "Ted" Lusk - June 1925 to April 1939
- R.W. Hitchcock - April 1939 to February 1961
- Jean Hitchcock Mitchell - February 1961 to December 1964
- Willis Brown - December 1964 to September 1968
- Joyce A. Swan September 1968 to May 1971
- James W. "Rusty" Swan - May 1971 to November 1985
- David C. Sharp - November 1985 to April 1993
- Loretta Lynde - May 1993 to September 1994
- John Van Strydonck - October 1994 to September 2000
- Bill Masterson, Jr. - September 2000 to September 2006
- Rosanne Cheeseman - November 2006 to October 2007
- Brad Slater - October 2007 to June 2011
- Shannon Brinker - November 2011 to present