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Early American Press

by: Alex Olges

Early American Press MCOM 1300

Alex Olges
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About this Document

Covers 9/23/16 class lecture in Dean's MCOM 1300-002 class. Notes discuss the beginnings of American journalism and ends with the introduction of "yellow journalism".
Foundations of Media and Communication
Class Notes
history, press, Media, communication, mcom




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alex Olges on Friday September 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MCOM 1300 at Texas Tech University taught by Dean in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 341 views. For similar materials see Foundations of Media and Communication in Media and Communications at Texas Tech University.

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Date Created: 09/23/16
The Colonial Press Friday, September 23, 2016 9:49 AM • Early newspapers were just political organs • Early editors weren't editors, just knew how to set type • James Franklin - New England courant 1720 • Ben Franklin - Pennsylvania Gazette ○ Highly successful editor in early life, before revolutionarystuff ○ Championed for the people ○ Started the first chain of newspapers ○ Gave a degree of respectability to journalism • Newspapers for each of these lines of thinking (they were highly partisan) ○ Tories  Loyal to England  Didn't understand the Whigs ○ Whigs  Middle class  Wanted taxation w/out representation ○ Radicals/Patriots  Wanted to overturn social structure completely The Revolutionary Press • Role of the press ○ Fan the flame  War wasn't going so well, needed to keep the fight alive ○ Thomas Paine's Common Sense was reprinted in all the newspapers  Explained why we should fight for independence ○ Issiah Thomas  Had the famous 13 split snake saying "Join or Die" The Partisan Press 1783-1816 • Whigs become the Federalists ○ Alexander Hamilton  Believed country should be run by the wealthy ○ Knew the Articles of Confederationwould fail  So they dominated the constitution meetings • Anti-Federalists ○ Thomas Jefferson  Said there needed to be guarantees of rights, else we would have gov't just like before revolution □ Spawned the Bill of Rights  Campaigned against the Alien and Sedition laws • Frontier papers ○ Thought the British were giving ammunitionto native Americans  This led to War of 1812 □ Didn't go so well, the capital was burned down • Magazines ○ Didn't catch initially because too expensive ○ 1880's finally started to catch on The Penny Press • Ben Day - New York Sun 1833 • Ben Day - New York Sun 1833 ○ Loweredprice of the paper to a penny  Did this to sell more papers, and get a larger audience for advertisers  15-20 papers followed suit • James Gordon Bennett - New York Herald 1835 ○ Changed the content of papers from partisan content, to more of what we see today  Because of increased competitionwith the 15-20 other papers • Horace Greeley - New York Tribune 1841 ○ Whig, but didn't agree with all Whig views ○ Started to editorialize a lot of controversialtopics  Allowed Karl Marx to write about his views of communism  Thought women should have right to vote  In short, very unpopular views ○ Gave independent voice to editorial page ○ Famous for getting tons of poor people out of the city and into other states to make a better life for themselves • Henry J. Raymond - New York Times 1851 ○ At the time, the NYT not the great newspaper we think of today The Personal Press • At the time, newspapers were seen a products of the editors ○ "Period of the Personal Editor" (1840s) ○ Today, we see newspapers as separate from the writers and editors - not the case back then • The abolitionist press ○ Abolitionists wanted to abolish slavery ○ John Brown decides to raid a place to save slaves  Immediatelycaptured and hung □ Seen as a martyr ○ Slavery a huge topic in papers • Partisianism returns • Press associations • The Associated Press of New York, 1848 ○ Big story was Texas' annexation ○ Several reporters sent out to report on the story  AP says let's just send two guys for everybody • The Civil War ○ Lots of first hand accounts of the war, since reporters are everywhere ○ Military leaders didn't like this  So reporters and their stories had to be approved beforehand □ This continued all the way to WWIII □ Censorship • Inverted Pyramid style of writing ○ In the lead, tell read what happened ○ 2nd part - details ○ 3rd part - smaller details ○ So either way, the reader gets the story New Journalism 1865-1900 • Joseph Pulitzer ○ Insisted on accuracy and comprehensivecoverage in the New York World  Introduced photos, color, comics  Made the World probably the best paper of the time ○ The symbol of "New Journalism" • E.W. Scripps • E.W. Scripps ○ Started papers in industrial cities ○ The Scripps' family's newspapers are still in existencetoday • William R. Hearst ○ Had reputation of being sensationalist ○ Created "Gee Whiz Journalism" ○ Had strong formula  Bought off great journalists □ (Hearst family had lots of money) ○ Bought the New York Journal  Tried to sell as many newspapers as possible, regardless of accuracy □ Yellow Journalism  Inaccurate stories, facts, sensationalized stories, etc  Pulitzer also joined in on this • The Spanish-American War ○ Newspapers reported fake stories about Spain ○ A battleship at one point blew up mysteriously  Newspaper falsely report it was Spain □ This led us to declare war on Spain  War was caused was by wild sensationalism of Yellow Journalism ◊ To Pulitzer's credit, he did back off of YJ around this time


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