This century saw a great dawn in press freedom and some personalities on the horizons of journalism emerged in Britain.
The newspapers won the hearts of the people under the editorships like Defoe, Swift, Addison, Steel, Fielding and Samuel Johnson.
The first daily newspaper (Daily Courant) was printed in English and circulated in the street of London, on March 11, 1702. It was established by Elizebeth Mallet. And sustained & revived by Samuel Buckley. The samuel started getting and generating revenue from advertisement.
John Trenchard and Thomas Gordan were making very pierce comments on the contemporary political & social issues under the pen name of ‘Cato’. The letters were very popular and influencing even the American press.
The series of letters were published in 4 volumes during 1724 and were received well by the people in Britain and America. The influence of Cato letters was unending as it could be traced up to the Declaration of Independence of America.
Waning of Absolute Rule & Emergence of Liberty of Press
The character of rulers gradually changed under the influence of the great revolution and fighting spirit of the people, still, men had to sacrifice their lives for liberating the press from oppressive rulers and intolerant administrators.
Despite the growth of liberty of press, poor communications and transport, heavy taxes hindered the spread of press to different parts of the country.
It took more than 1½ century for another daily to appear from a city other than capital after the first daily was published in 1702.
Out of 16 daily newspapers in London, 9 were national newspapers as they were being circulated throughout the whole country. The Scotsman, Glasgow Herald, The Manchester Guardian, The Yorkshire Post and the Birmingham Post were wielding a greater power over the life and thought of the nation than some of the ‘nation’ papers.
The Royal Commission & the chain of Newspapers
The Royal Commission recognized The Times & the Daily Telegraph were quality newspaper.
The Evening News, the Star and the Evening Standard are restricted in the main to Greater London and the Home Countries.
There were 24 morning papers published in England and Wales outside London.
The Royal commission named five chains with sufficient links to be worthy of the name. They were the Harmsworth Chain, Associated Newspapers, the Westminster Press, Kemley Newspapers and provincial newspapers Ltd. They Royal commission studied the structure, financial potency and influence of the chains, and pleaded against the growth chains.
The 19 th century saw 2 new newspapers Daily Mail and the Daily express with large circulation and vast financial resources.
Media Legislation in America
The American newspaper has born in the New England.
1 st press was established in the English Colony at Cambridge (Harward) college in 1638 for the purpose of producing religious texts for educational institutions.
In 1681 Benjamin Harris an ex-London Bookseller established a press and offered a periodical. He chose Boston with 7000 population for launching an underground press engaged in attacking the Catholics.
1 st genuine American newspaper came into being on April 24, 1704 from Green’s shop with name Boston Newsletter.
It was printed both sides of a sheet.
5 successive postmasters contributed for regular publication of Boston Gazette until 1741, when it was merged with another rival the New England Weekly Journal.
A little sheet of newspaper New England Courant, edited by James Franklin defied this practice and honeymoon between the press and government ended.
It survived for 5 years only.
Sensationalism and Putlizer:
. Ben Day in 1833, started a newspaper ‘New York Sun’ and sold it for a penny, while other newspapers cost 6 cents. He concentrated on street sales.
. In 1883 Joseph Putlizer bought the ‘New York World’ and offered a comprehensive interesting stuff to readers with human interest, gossip and sensation with scandals.
. Pulitzer championed the cause of working class against the aristocracy of wealth and social position.
. Putlizer’s new journalism was based on sensation, which gained readers and became a source for reaching heights in circulation cars during 1890.
Era of Yellow Journalism, Tabloids & Magazines
The unprecedented circulation war resulted in the era of yellow journalism.
Oversized headlines screamed. Pictures blown up.
Fraudulent news filled the columns. Campaign became order of the day.
As the life in America changed fast after the world war I with speeding automobiles, faster trains, airplanes brought the distant people nearer and newspapers have grown in size and circulation with sensationalism continued to be the staple material of news columns.
This situation provided a set for tabloid to appear.
Everything about the personal life of public figures or sometimes any sensational private lives was the main content of the tabloids, which were smaller in size, using colours and pictures profusely and writing more about sex and violence.
This period also saw emergence of magazines for different audience, with low price, popular appeal and detailed analysis of events for reading in leisure.