History Part 1 COM 13500 Introduction to Journalism
Today’s Concepts Gutenberg’s Impact Early Newspapers What Makes a Newspaper Ben Franklin – Father of American Journalism John Peter Zenger and Seditious Libel Laws = Seeds of Press Freedom in Colonial America
“Journalism history is the story of man’s long struggle to communicate freely with his fellow men—to dig out and interpret news, and to offer intelligent opinion in the marketplace of ideas.” -Edwin Emery, The Press and America
Gutenberg 1453: Johannes Gutenberg invents the printing press Prints the Bible, which became known as “The Gutenberg Bible” Great influence on Western culture – seen as “dangerous” by authorities In 1671 Sir William Berkley wrote home to his government: "I thank God we have not free schools nor printing, and hope we shall not have for another hundred years. For learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world and printing has divulged them and libels against the Government. God keep us from both!"
Just for Fun…The Gutenberg Lego Printing Press! Found On: Printeresting.org
All copy cleared through Governor, and because it was “libel-proof” – it wasn’t very interesting and had few subscribers (300 max)
Though “unimpressive” – became the basis for the Fourth Estate.
Published once a week Produced by mechanical means Must be available to anyone willing to pay the price, regardless of class or special interests Must print anything of interest to the general public, as contrasted with some of the religious and business publications Must have an appeal to a public of ordinary literary skill Must be timely, or at least relatively so, in the light of technical development Must have stability, as contrasted to the fly-by-night publications of more primitive times Edwin Emery p. 3 The Press and America Newspaper Qualifications
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin Often called the “Father of American Journalism”
Began rise to fame as printer-journalist in 1720’s Publisher of Pennsylvania Gazette Made it profitable by incorporating advertising He made journalism respectable by being interesting, truthful, and business-savvy. Attracted young, intelligent people to the industry “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” Often called the “Father of American Journalism”
May 9, 1754 – Pennsylvania GazetteEarliest Known Political Cartoon Ben Franklin
John Peter Zenger Case 1734-35 Thrown in jail for “seditious libel laws” for writing disparaging remarks about New York Gov. William Cosby in the New York Weekly Journal Jailed for nine months
In 1770s, the rebels looked back at this trial as a battle cry for liberty and freedom
Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Samuel Adams said in 1768 that "there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press." History.org