The Tin Whistle was a radical newspaper founded in 1968 by students from Uni High, Centennial, Central, and Urbana High School, with Chris Schousbo, Mark Osborn, Sherry Mattingly, and Albert Fisher as representatives from each school, respectively. It was created to serve and inform the schools’ communities and relied on students to write, edit, copy, and distribute it to their classmates. An outlet for counterculture messages, students used The Tin Whistle as a platform to agitate for the rights and representation of minorities in Champaign–Urbana, critique the current management of their schools and country, fight against the war in Vietnam, promote environmentalist and feminist messages, and challenge the status quo. In the issues we have access to, topics like the legalization of narcotics or marijuana, banned music, and student elections frequently arise. It was very in line with the views of the university’s underground newspaper The Walrus, who sponsored them by aiding in the paper’s printing process, though it took no responsibility for what was actually published, nor the radical movements of the late 1960s.
“We print ANYTHING,” the paper claims, and that promise is shown through the range of articles, poetry, interviews, photos, drawings, and short stories with a variety of messages that cover their pages. Though there was pushback against the paper from the administration of some of the schools, The Tin Whistle managed to prosper and avoid termination due to large support from the general student bodies of the four schools, certain teachers, and The Walrus. We’re limited in what we know about the course of the newspaper, as we only have access to three issues in the Uni Archives found in our library (that were published within two weeks of each other). The most recent issue suggested that another issue was going to be printed soon, so we’re sure that there were others in circulation and being created well after that. The exact starting date and ending date of the paper is unknown to us as well.