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Essay/Term paper: Yellow journalism and mass media

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

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Yellow Journalism and Mass Media

It is the news that informs us of the events that change our lives and

entertains us when we are seeking something to do. Journalism has been the

staple of American life for quite some time and will probably keep the same

effect for years to come. Journalism has also changed many lives in American

History. Furthermore, I leave you with my essay on the the hype of the early

ninteen hundreds; the infamous Yellow Press.

Basically, Yellow Journalism was the given name to mass media in the

early eighteenth century. It consisted of cartoons, illustrations, catchy stories,

and things that appealed to the readers interests and values(Mass Media 1).

Sometimes the contents were fraudulent and emphasized tragedies. These types

of contents sold papers in great volumes and created a large profit for such

papers as the "New York World" and the "Journal."(Century 168)

The owner of the "New York Journal" and the overall founder of yellow

journalism itself was of the name Joseph Pulitzer. Pulitzer immigrated to the

United States from Hungary(Pulitzer 1). Early on in his career he worked as a

reporter where he picked up most of his journalism skills. Later on, Pulitzer

purchased the "New York World." At the time the "World" was not very successful,

but Pulitzer managed to turn it into one of the most successful papers in New

York. He managed to make his paper successful by using the many "yellow"

techniques mentioned before. Some people thought these methods were immoral

and scandalous(Century 166-172).

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Pulitzer"s only real competiton was from a man by the name of William

Hearst. Hearst owned the paper by the name " The Journal." The "Journal" was

also highly successful. Harsh competition took place between the two

papers(Century 172).

The major break or "turning point" in the sensationalism movement was

the sinking of the battelship "Maine." Soon after the tragedy, the yellow press

had a war scare on Spain . For example, the scare- head technique where they

would post something to catch the readers" eye such a the word "massacre" or

other graphic words that would ingnite the publics" interest. As many as five or

six publications daily were out relating to the supposed war against Spain.

Vicious competition between Hearst and Pulitzer took place over stories. As a

result of the need for stories to keep the public interested fraudulent stories

developed and outraged many people(Yellow Kid 2).

As far as the the publics feeling towards the yellow press they did not

take kindly to it. Many people wrote letters to editors complaining on the

falsities and other problems. The newspapers and magazines were baned from

several respectable places. Among the places that the publications were banned

included; libraries, schools, reading rooms, and clubs. The reason people sought

to rid of the publications were because of their trashy content and their

falsities(Yellow Kid 5).

Although the actual origin of the term "Yellow Press" is still unknown,

whether it be the color of the paper or the many cartoons written about the

publications including the "yellow" character the press made a significant

impact on society(Yellow Kid 3). The press brought more jobs into the publishing

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industry and brought a new style to the world of journalism. Although the

publications did not go over well with most of the public, they made millions of

dollars in profit(Century 167). So may the legacy of the mass media and it"s

founders live on through the journalism of today.


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