January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Writing, Journalism
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Chapter 8:

Newspapers and the Rise of Modern Journalism

Some guiding questions How did newspapers emerge as a mass medium? How have the standards of journalism changed in the modern era? How do issues of ownership, economics and technology bear upon journalism? What are central concerns about journalism and democracy?


What is “news,” anyway? How would you define it?

What is NEWS? News satisfies our need to know things we cannot experience personally. News documents daily life and bears witness to ordinary and extraordinary events. Does it just report FACTS, or does it help us to interpret them?

EARLY AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS Colonial newspapers in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, South Carolina By 1765, about thirty newspapers First DAILY paper in 1784 Readership primarily limited to elite and educated men: WHY?

Limited readership in 18th century Low literacy rate among working and middle classes Newspaper production and distribution was expensive Newspaper subscription rates were high Press did not address women’s interests or those of working class

Political versus Commercial Papers Both shaped by response to British rule and the spread of commerce PARTISAN PRESS: political bias, argued for one perspective COMMERCIAL PRESS: served interests of business and economic leaders

Pioneering Colonial Women as Newspaper Owners Elizabeth Timothy: South Carolina Gazette, 1738 Anna Maul Zenger: New York Journal, 1746


Industrial Revolution: new technologies made MASS PUBLISHING cheaper and faster New strategies by some publishers to attract working-class readers

PENNY PRESS STRATEGIES Lowered cost to one penny per issue Focus on local events, scandals and crime Ran serialized stories Human interest stories Celebrity news Fashion notes Jokes

PENNY PAPER INNOVATIONS Shifted economic base from political party subsidies to an

ADVERTISING MARKET: Advertising revenue Classified ads Street sales rather than subscriptions

Wire Services In 1848, Associated Press (AP) was founded. 6 New York newspapers in cooperative arrangement AP relayed news stories and information around the country using telegraph lines.

ERA OF YELLOW JOURNALISM Age of SENSATIONALISM (to attract readers/ consumers) Age of INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING (to crusade for common people)

Two infamous publishers JOSEPH PULITZER: Eastern

European immigrant, built empire from St. Louis Post-Dispatch to

New York World

Appealed to working classes Promoted consumerism Crusaded against corruption

Two infamous publishers WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST: son of U.S. senator, built empire from San Francisco Examiner to New York Journal:

Appealed to immigrant and working class Sensational journalism (like tabloids today) Champion of the underdog Model for Citizen Kane (1941 film)


objectivity versus the need for analysis and


Two COMPETING MODELS: STORY model: dramatized events, used individual characters and narrative structure INFORMATION model: emphasized a purely factual, straightforward approach Do these two models exist today? Think of some examples.

OBJECTIVE JOURNALISM Became dominant model in 20th century American journalism Reporters strive to maintain a NEUTRAL, UNBIASED ATTITUDE about the issues Reporters seek to show BALANCED and COMPETING POINTS OF VIEW.

Inverted Pyramid Style of Reporting What? Efficient model for news reporting How? Concentrated main details about news at top of story (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN) Why? Initially, to ensure that primary elements got through telegraph transmissions

INTERPRETIVE JOURNALISM A style of reporting that tries to put issues and events in broader social and historical context. Explanatory, interpretive analysis of news Why? To help public to better understand complex events and issues

Walter Lippman’s model of

Press Responsibility To make a current record To make a running analysis of it On the basis of both, to suggest plans

WHAT IS THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN INFORMATION and INTERPRETATION? What role do you think journalism should take?

Attack on objectivity as dominant model (1960s)

new journalistic forms Advocacy journalism Precision journalism Literary journalism

CONTEMPORARY JOURNALISM Innovative news forms that combine information, entertainment, persuasion, and analysis

PRINT vs. ELECTRONIC NEWS What are the advantages and disadvantages of each mode?


Ethnic Newspaper Publications Various newspapers for immigrant and ethnic groups Hispanic press Native American press African American press

African American newspapers Antislavery newspapers, 18271865 Major urban papers (early 20th century): Pittsburgh Courier Amsterdam News (NYC) Chicago Defender

OWNERSHIP, ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY What issues face the world of newspaper publishing today?

ISSUES TODAY CIRCULATION CRISIS: decline in readership COMPETING NEWSPAPERS in major cities (mergers, JOAs) NEWSPAPER CHAINS NEW TECHNOLOGIES (online journalism)

What is a newspaper’s role in a democracy?

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