How Journalism Began Highlights of the history of journalism in the United States
America’s First Newspapers • Did not look like newspapers today • Often only one long sheet that consisted of more letters or essays than “news” • Publick Occurences - First American newspaper;published in Boston in 1690 by Benjamin Harris • PO suppressed by British colonial authorities after only one issue because they disliked what Harris said
America’s First Newspapers cont. • The Boston News-Letter - First continuously published newspaper in the colonies • Started by John Campbell in 1704 • Published “by authority” (had government approval) • QUESTION: Are newspapers today published “by authority”?
Establishment of Freedom of the Press • In colonies, newspapers that criticized government were guilty of sedition • Even the truth could not be used as a defense against sedition - “The greater the truth, the greater the libel” • Changed with 1735 court case
The Zenger Trial • John Peter Zenger - Published the New York Weekly Journal beginning in 1734 • Charged with libel for printing articles that criticized the governor of New York, William Cosby • Defended in court by Andrew Hamilton • Hamilton convinced the jury that libel had to be false, malicious and seditious and therefore Zenger was innocent because he printed the truth; New precedent set for journalism
The Press and the Revolution • By 1775, when the American Revolution began, 37 newspapers were being published • Some historians actually say there would not have been a revolution without the support of the press • At the time papers were very partisan • After the Revolution, press rights were guaranteed by the first amendment in the Bill of Rights in 1791.
The Newspaper Industry Grows • The Pennsylvania Post - First daily paper; founded in 1783 • The Students Gazette – First student newspaper; founded in 1777 • “Penny Press” – name for the kinds of papers that were forerunners of modern day newspaper • New York Sun - founded by Benjamin Day in 1833; filled with news; sold for a penny
The Penny Press • Penny press achieved mass audience – sold on the street rather than subscription and very inexpensive • Advertising took a major role for the first time in journalism • Soon papers similar to the New York Sun appeared throughout the country • At this time it was not unusual for one major city to have eight or nine competing newspapers
Effects of the Telegraph • In 1861 reporters begin to use telegraph to report from Civil war battle sites; change style of journalism • Develop inverted pyramid and become more concise so as to get outcome in the story incase telegraph breaks down
Yellow Journalism • Style of journalism popular in the late 19th century • Name derived from the Yellow Kid, a cartoon in the Sunday World in the 1890s • Unethical and irresponsible form of journalism; involved hoaxes, altered photographs, screaming headlines, “scoops,” frauds, and endless promotion of the newspapers themselves
Yellow Journalism cont. • William Randolph Hearst (New York Journal) and Joseph Pulitzer (New York World) most notable yellow journalists • Color supplements, illustrations, cartoon strips and dramatic coverage of sports events filled their papers and gave them high circulations William Randolph Hearst Joseph Pulitzer
Yellow Journalism cont. • Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) most famous female yellow journalist • Worked for Pulitzer’s World; known for pulling stunts • Pretended to be mentally ill and got herself committed to asylum to investigate the asylum’s conditions; wrote story about trip around the world inspired by Jules Verne novel
Did You Know? • Some say it was really Hearst that got the U.S.A. in the Spanish American War • Reportedly an artist for paper telegraphed to say there was no war – Hearst said “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.” • USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor in 1898 • Hearst paper headline – “DESTRUCTION OF THE WAR SHIP MAINE WAS THE WORK OF AN ENEMY”
Muckraking • New kind or journalism • Writing with a social consciousness • Critics of the style called the writers muckrakers – Do you know why? • Muckraking spread from newspapers to new medium – the magazine • Ida Tarbell – famous muckraker; wrote about Standard Oil and attacked big business
Minority Media • Nation grew and minority groups began to take important roles in journalism • The Chicago Defender - one of largest/most influential African-American newspapers • Founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott • Encouraged blacks to move north • Hispanic, Native-American, and Asian papers soon followed
The Advent of Radio • 1906: radio invented • First newscast made in 1916 – broadcast of the Wilson-Hughes presidential election • Regular broadcast programs began in Detroit in 1920 • NBC formed in 1926 and CBS formed in 1927 • Today more than 500 million radio stations are in use and nearly 10,000 stations broadcast in the U.S.A.
QUESTION? • Do you ever listen to news on the radio? • How do you think news writing had to change to be effective over the radio?
The Impact of Television • 1940 – First TV newscast took place • Changed role of newspapers and radio dramatically • Took entertainment role away from radio and most of the breaking news from newspapers • Today newspapers put less emphasis on breaking news…Why? • Many say TV is today’s yellow journalism…Do you agree? Why?
Journalism Today • 200 years ago just beginning penny press • Now have 24 hour access to up-to-date news through radio, TV, Internet, papers and magazines • Which is your outlet of choice and why? • What is the value of news in today’s society?