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History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
History of Journalism
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History of Journalism

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  • 1. History of Journalism in America
  • 2. History of American Journalism
    • Newspapers have not always been the sophisticated, full-color extravaganzas we know today. American journalism had its humble beginnings in the Colonial period with the publication of Benjamin Harris’ Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, which was shut down after its one and only issue on Sept. 26, 1690.
  • 3.
    • This newspaper was printed on three sheets of stationery-size paper and the fourth page was left blank so that readers could add their own news before passing it on to someone else.
  • 4.
    • Unfortunately, the essays which this paper contained did not please the authorities, and Harris had not bought the required license, so the paper was shut down after just one issue.
  • 5.
    • The first continuously published American newspaper did not come along for 14 more years. The Boston News-Letter premiered on April 24, 1704. The publisher was John Campbell. The paper originally appeared on a single page, printed on both sides and issued weekly.
  • 6.
    • In the early years of its publication the News-Letter was filled mostly with news from London journals detailing the intrigues of English politics, and a variety of events concerning the European wars. The rest of the newspaper was filled with items listing ship arrivals, deaths, sermons, political appointments, fires, accidents and the like.
  • 7.
    • One of the most sensational stories published when the News-Letter was the only newspaper in the colonies was the the account of how Blackbeard the pirate was killed in hand-to-hand combat on the deck of a sloop that had engaged his ship in battle.
  • 8.
    • On view here is the May 14, 1761 issue of the News-Letter. The front page is displayed in its entirety. As was the custom then, the front page was devoted to events overseas. This issue contains news from London, a speech by the King to the House of Commons, and various accounts from Westminster and Whitehall
  • 9.
    • Also displayed from this issue is an ad from the back page for a Scheme of a Lottery. The lottery was created to sell 6000 tickets at $2 each to raise funds to pave the highway in Charlestown from the Ferry to the Neck. Of the $12,000 to be raised, according to the ad, $10,800 is earmarked for prizes and $1200 for paving the highway.
  • 10.
    • Perhaps the most famous name in early American journalism is that of Peter Zenger. Publisher of the New York Weekly Journal, Zenger was accused and tried for libel against the colonial British government in 1735. In this picture, Zenger is arrested and his printing press is burned by Colonial authorities.
  • 11.
    • Zenger was found innocent and it was that one verdict that paved the way for a free and independent press in America. For the first time it was considered proper for the press to question and criticize the government. This is a pillar of a free press in the United States and any country that is free. Journalists have to be able to question the actions of the government in order to make them accountable.
  • 12.
    • All that is needed for newspapers to become a mass medium is a good idea. Along comes Benjamin Day in 1833. Day opened the New York Sun and created the Penny Press.
  • 13.
    • Newspapers of the day cost about 10 cents each . . . too expensive for the masses. But there was a large literate audience out there. Day took advantage of the fact that he could print thousands of papers inexpensively and sold the papers for a penny each.  
  • 14.
    • He also changed the content of newspapers to make it more sensational and more popular to the lower class. He hired boys to hawk the newspapers on street corners. It was the Penny Press that also began using advertising as a way to bring readers information, but advertising also helped by paying for the printing and distribution of newspapers.
  • 15.
    • Cheap newspapers sold to the workers were a hit. His idea was huge success and newspapers crossed that line that made them truly mass media. Others were quick to follow his lead. They became so powerful that they were called Lords of the Press.
  • 16.
    • The Civil War era brought some “new” technology to the publishing industry. Photography became a popular addition to newspapers. Matthew Brady set up a camera on the battlefields and photographed the soldiers at war. One of his photographs appears above.
  • 17.
    • An invention that helped speed news along was the telegraph. Reporters were able to send encoded news back to their papers as it was happening.
  • 18.
    • Abraham Lincoln became the first president to direct armies in the field directly from the White House.
  • 19.
    • During the darkest days of the terrible war Lincoln would pace back and forth in the telegraph office awaiting news of the fate of the nation that would emerge from the new telegraph invention.
  • 20.
    • Because the telegraph wires kept going down on a regular basis, sometimes the story that a reporter was trying to send got cut off before it was finished.
  • 21.
    • To alleviate this situation, reporters developed the “inverted pyramid” form of writing, putting the most important facts at the beginning of the story.
  • 22.
    • This way, the most important part of the story would most likely reach the newspaper, and if anything got cut off, it would be the lesser important details of what happened.
  • 23.
    • As newspapers began to compete more and more with one another to increase circulation and obtain more advertising revenue, a different type of journalism was developed by publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
  • 24.
    • In the mid-1890s, Pulitzer (in the New York World ) and Hearst (in the San Francisco Examiner and later the New York Morning Journal ) transformed newspapers with sensational and scandalous news coverage, the use of drawings and the inclusion of more features such as comic strips.
  • 25.
    • After Pulitzer began publishing color comic sections that included a strip entitled "The Yellow Kid" (left) in early 1896, this type of paper was labeled "yellow journalism."
  • 26.
    • Drawn by R.F. Outcault, the popular (if now-unfunny) strip became a prize in the struggle between Pulitzer and Hearst in the New York newspaper wars.
  • 27.
    • Outcault moved the strip to Hearst's papers after nine months, where it competed with a Pulitzer-sponsored version of itself.
  • 28.
    • Yellow Kid cartoonist Richard Outcault
  • 29.
    • One of the most popular reporters of the Yellow Journalism era was a woman named Elizabeth Cochrane who wrote under the name “Nellie Bly.” She wrote with anger and compassion. She wrote to expose the many wrongs that developed in nineteenth century cities after the industrial boom. Most of her reporting was on women.
  • 30.
    • She directed her articles to upper class women to open their eyes and hearts to their impoverished, hungry, hopeless sisters. She felt very strongly that women and their issues were not represented in newspapers or any where else.
  • 31.
    • She wanted people to know different women’s plights and understand why some became “fallen women." She hoped that by reading her articles other women would want to help their sisters. She wanted people to realize the unfairness that women were afforded at the turn of the century.
  • 32.
    • She got a job on the Pittsburgh Dispatch when she wrote a furious letter complaining about an editorial that claimed that women were good for little but housework. She covered social questions such as divorce, slum life, and conditions in Mexico for the paper.
  • 33.
    • In 1887 she moved to Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, for which she exposed the conditions in which the insane lived by pretending to be mad and getting herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell's Island. She also investigated sweat-shops tenements, the world of perry crime and Corps de Ballet by the same methods.
  • 34.
    • The high point in her life, however was the round-the-world trip, which she made in 72 days, 6 hours,11 minutes and 14 seconds. Joseph Pulitzer sent a special train to meet her return to San Francisco, and she was greeted by fireworks, gun salutes, brass bands and parade on Broadway.
  • 35.
    • In 1895 Nellie Bly married a millionaire, Robert Seaman, 50 years older than herself, and retired. She lost most of his money after he died and in 1919 tried unsuccessfully to make a comeback. She died in 1920.
  • 36.
    • After William Randolph Hearst moved to New York, he and Joseph Pulitzer competed for readers by making their papers more and more sensational.
  • 37.
    • In 1895, Hearst purchased the New York Morning Journal and entered into a head-to-head circulation war with his former mentor, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World.
  • 38.
    • To increase circulation both started to include articles about the Cuban Insurrection.  Many stories in both newspaper greatly exaggerated their claims to make the stories more sensational. 
  • 39.
    • Both Hearst and Pulitzer published images of Spanish troops placing Cubans into concentration camps where they were suffered and died from disease and hunger.
  • 40.
    • The American public purchased more newspapers because of the sensational writing, and this strongly encouraged Hearst and Pulitzer’s newspapers to write more sensationalized stories. 
  • 41.
    • Some of the most sensationalized articles concerned “Butcher Weyler” and his reconcentration policies, and the Cuban Insurrection.
  • 42.
    • Circulation continued to soar as the Journal reported that an American civilian was imprisoned without a trial and stating that no American was safe in Cuba as long as Weyler was in charge.
  • 43.
    • Another major  story that enraged the American public was written by one of Hearst's reporters,  Richard Harding Davis,  who came upon the story while on his way back from Cuba. 
  • 44.
    • The reporter learned of the story of Senorita Clemencia Arango.  Arango was forced out of Cuba for helping the rebels, and was supposedly strip-searched by Spanish detectives. 
  • 45.
    • This angered the Victorian ideals of the American public even though the story was found to be in error and that a woman searched Arango and not Spanish male detectives.
  • 46.
    • This cartoon made fun of the way Hearst and Pulitzer were each claiming to “own” the story about the Spanish-American War.
  • 47. As the U.S. population in the latter half of the 20th century has shifted from cities to suburbs, and with the growth in competition from other media, many large city newspapers have had to cease publication, merge with their competitors, or be taken over by a chain of newspaper publishers such as the Gannett Company or Knight-Ridder Inc.
  • 48. In 1982, using satellite transmission and color presses, the Gannett chain established a new national newspaper, USA Today, published and circulated throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
  • 49. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today are read all over the country; small towns and rural districts usually have daily or weekly local papers made up largely of syndicated matter, with a page or two of local news and editorials. These local papers are frequently influential political organs.
  • 50. As the U.S. population in the latter half of the 20th century has shifted from cities to suburbs, and with the growth in competition from other media, many large city newspapers have had to cease publication, merge with their competitors, or be taken over by a chain of newspaper publishers such as the Gannett Company or Knight-Ridder Inc.
  • 51. Since the invention of the telegraph, which enormously facilitated the rapid gathering of news, the great news agencies, such as Reuters in England, Agence France-Presse in France, and Associated Press and United Press International in the United States, have sold their services to newspapers and to their associate members.
  • 52. Improvements in photocomposition and in printing (especially the web offset press), have enhanced the quality of print and made possible the publication of huge editions at great speed. Modern newspapers are supported primarily by the sale of advertising space. Computer technology has also had an enormous impact on the production of news and newspapers.
  • 53. By the 1990s this technology had also affected the nature of newspapers, as the first independent on-line daily appeared on the Internet. By the decade's end some 700 papers had web sites, some of which carried news gathered by their own staffs, and papers regularly scooped themselves by publishing electronically before the print edition appeared.

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