Guide to the Roger Tatarian Papers, 1934-1995

Processed by Hülya Reshad; machine-readable finding aid created by James Lake
Sanoian Special Collections Library
California State University, Fresno
5200 North Barton Avenue M/S ML 34
Fresno, California 93740-8014
Phone: (559) 278-2595
Fax: (559) 278-6952
© 1998
California State University, Fresno. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Roger Tatarian Papers, 1934-1995

Sanoian Special Collections Library

Henry Madden Library

Fresno, California

Contact Information:

  • Sanoian Special Collections Library
  • California State University, Fresno
  • 5200 North Barton Avenue M/S ML 34
  • Fresno, California 93740-8014
  • Phone: (559) 278-2595
  • Fax: (559) 278-6952
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Hülya Reshad
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
James Lake
© 1998 California State University, Fresno. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Roger Tatarian Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1934-1995
Creator: Tatarian, Roger, 1916-1995
Extent: 1 linear foot
Photographs: In box 1.
Repository: Henry Madden Library (California State University, Fresno).

Sanoian Special Collections Library.
Fresno, California
Language: English.

Administrative Information


The papers were donated by Eunice Tatarian in 1996 and Allan Shields in 1998.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been transferred to California State University, Fresno.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Roger Tatarian Papers, Sanoian Special Collections Library, California State University, Fresno.


Roger (born Hrach) Tatarian was born on December 25, 1916, in Fresno, California. He graduated from Fresno State College with a B.A. in Political Science in June 1938 and began his career at the United Press International (UPI) the following month. He rose from a string reporter to become the General News Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; the bureau chief for London and Rome; and the news editor in Washington, D.C. His career at UPI culminated in his promotion to Vice President and Editor-in-Chief in 1967. He left UPI in 1972 due to a medical condition.
Tatarian had various careers throughout his lifetime. From 1972 to 1987, Tatarian was a professor of journalism at California State University, Fresno. The university built a plaza in his name and the Journalism Department created the Roger Tatarian Endowed Chair in Journalism in his honor. Tatarian was also a writing coach at various American and Canadian newspapers as well as an occasional lecturer at the American Press Institute. He had also been closely associated with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as its consultant in Paris, a member of the U.S. delegation to the UNESCO conference in Paris, and a consultant at the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. In the last years of his life, he wrote a weekly column for both the Fresno Bee and the Maturity News Service.
Roger Tatarian died on June 25, 1995.

Scope and Content

The Roger Tatarian papers measure 1 linear foot and date from 1934 to 1995. The papers predominantly cover Tatarian's professional life and are arranged in eight series: Biographical information, The Fresno Bee, Maturity News Service, Public Television, Riverside Press Council Advisory Board, Speeches, UNESCO, and Writing coach correspondence.
Biographical information (1934, 1974, 1984) contains the high school newspaper which covers the graduation ceremony at which Tatarian was one of the five speakers. There are also copies of the reunion speeches which Tatarian gave in 1974 and 1984. There are profiles chronicling Tatarian's achievements and a few photographs of him.
The Fresno Bee series (1987-1995) contains all the weekly columns Tatarian wrote for this local newspaper over the course of eight years. It also includes a copy of Day of Mourning, Day of Shame and Other Essays of Roger Tatarian, compiled by the Fresno Bee in 1995.
The Maturity News Service (1987-1994) is an association funded by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The file consists of background information on the news service and a group photograph of its regular journalists (in which Tatarian is included). There is also some correspondence about Tatarian's role at the news service and his pay.
Public Television (1989-1995) contains a list of the various commentaries which Tatarian made and the fees he charged. There are also a few commentaries included.
Riverside Press Council Advisory Board (1973-1974) contains various newspaper articles and reports written by Tatarian, which outline the efficacy of the council and have suggestions for improvement.
Speeches (1960-1994) contains outlines of the numerous speeches which Tatarian gave around the world throughout his professional life. The subjects he touched upon were numerous, however, one speech Tatarian gave while receiving the Lovejoy Award at Colby College, Maine in 1980, stands out. The award is given annually and the recipient may be an editor, reporter or publisher whose professional skill has, in the opinion of the judges, contributed to the country's journalistic achievement. When receiving this award, Tatarian criticized the "shield laws" which give journalists the right to keep their sources private. He believed some journalists abuse this privilege. Tatarian's speech caused an upheaval in the world of journalism where opinions ranged from ardently supportive to vehemently opposed.
UNESCO (1972-1984) contains two reports on the role of the Multinational News Association and the numerous speeches Tatarian made about the Third World suspicions of the Western press and also U.S. suspicion of UNESCO itself. The U.S. had wanted to withdraw from UNESCO in the mid-1980s, believing the organization was too bureaucratic, hostile to free market principles and against freedom of the press.
After Tatarian retired, he became a writing coach for various newspapers. Writing coach correspondence (1979-1991) describes the role Tatarian played in each of these newspapers, his recommendations for their improvement, the duration of his employment and the fees he charged for his services.
Materials from the 1998 accession were donated by Allan Shields, a friend of both Roger and Eunice Tatarian toward the end of Roger's life. It includes the correspondence between the two of them from 1990 to 1995 as well as Tatarian's obituaries.

Container List


Biographical information

Box Box 1

High school


Graduation newspaper, 1934


Reunion speeches, 1974, 1984


Profiles, undated


Photographs, undated


The Fresno Bee

Box Box 1

Day of Mourning, Day of Shame and Other Essays of Roger Tatarian (1995)


Weekly columns


May 1987-December 1988


January 1989-July 1990


July 1990-December 1991


January 1992-December 1992


January 1993-November 1993


February 1994-June 1995


Maturity News Service

Box Box 1

Background information (includes one group photograph), undated


Correspondence, 1987-1994


Public Television

Box Box 1

Lists of commentaries (includes a few commentaries), 1989-1995


Riverside Press Council Advisory Board

Box Box 1

Efficacy of the press council, 1973-1974


Newspaper clippings and reports, 1973-1974



Box Box 1

Benefits of the newspaper, 1965-1968, 1972-1982


First Amendment, 1973-1988

Box Box 2

Journalism (includes newspaper clippings), 1964-1993


Lovejoy Convention (includes critiques), 1980


Use of the English language, 1960-1967, 1977-1994


World events, 1960-1992



Box Box 3

Report of the Multinational News Association, 1979


Third World media crisis (includes one letter), 1972-1981


U.S. suspicion of UNESCO, 1979, 1984


Writing coach correspondence

Box Box 3

American Press Institute, 1980-1986


Honolulu Advertiser, 1979, 1990-1991 and undated


Montreal Gazette, 1988


St. Petersburg Times, 1980


1998 accession [from Allan Shields]

Box Box 3

Correspondence, 1990-1995


Obituaries, 1995