The term was extensively used to describe certain major New York City newspapers around as they battled for circulation. Hearst Etymology and early usage The term was coined in the mids to characterize the sensational journalism that used some yellow ink in the circulation war between Joseph Pulitzer 's New York World and William Randolph Hearst 's New York Journal. The battle peaked from to aboutand historical usage often refers specifically to this period. Both papers were accused by critics of sensationalizing the news in order to drive up circulation, although the newspapers did serious reporting as well.
Hearst[ change change source ] "Yellow journalism" cartoon about Spanish-American War of The newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst are shown as the Yellow Kid comics character of the time, and both claim ownership of the war The term came from the American Gilded Age of the s when new technology made newspapers cheaper.
Two newspaper owners in New York fought to get more readers and sell more newspapers than the other. The most important part of this fight was from to about When people talk about "yellow journalism" in history, they are often talking about these years.
Both papers were accused of sensationalizing the news making it seem much more important than it really was in order to sell more newspapers, although they did serious reporting as well. The New York Press used the term " Yellow Kid journalism" in early Encircling the power of journalism a then-popular comic strip, to talk about the newspapers of Pulitzer and Hearst, which both published versions of it during a circulation war.
Louis Post-Dispatch the biggest daily newspaper in that city. Pulitzer tried to make the New York World fun to read, and filled his paper with pictures, games and contests that brought in new readers. Crime stories filled many of the pages, with headlines like "Was He a Suicide?
Pulitzer believed that newspapers were important and had a duty to make society better, and he tried to do this with his newspaper. Just two years after Pulitzer took it over, the World sold more copies than any other newspaper in New York.
Part of this was because he was connected to the Democratic Party. They talked about how he had crime stories and stunts but ignored its more serious reporting. Hearst read the World while studying at Harvard University. He decided to try to make the Examiner as bright as Pulitzer's paper.
One of his early stories, about a "band of murderers", attacked the police for forcing Examiner reporters to do their work for them. But while doing these things, the Examiner also increased its space for international news, and sent reporters out to uncover corruption and inefficiency in the city government.
In one story, Examiner reporter Winifred Black went into a San Francisco hospital as a patient and discovered that the women there were treated with "gross cruelty". The entire hospital staff was fired the morning the story was printed. After noticing what Pulitzer had done by keeping his newspaper at two cents, Hearst made the Journal's only cost one cent, while providing as much information as rival newspapers.
Hearst then hired many people who were working for World in While most sources say that Hearst simply offered more money, Pulitzer — who had grown more abusive to his employees — had become a very difficult man to work for, and many World employees were willing to switch newspapers just to get away from him.
Both were Democraticboth took the side of organized labor and immigrants unlike publishers like the New York Tribune 's Whitelaw Reidwho blamed their poverty on moral defects and both spent a lot of money making their Sunday publications, which were like weekly magazines, going beyond just daily journalism.
Hogan's Alley, a comic strip about a bald child in a yellow nightshirt nicknamed The Yellow Kidbecame very popular when cartoonist Richard F.
Outcault began drawing it in the World in early When Hearst hired Outcault away, Pulitzer asked artist George Luks to continue drawing the strip with his characters, giving the city two Yellow Kids. Male Spanish officials strip search an American woman tourist in Cuba looking for messages from rebels; front page "yellow journalism" from Hearst Artist: Frederic Remington Pulitzer 's treatment in the World emphasizes a horrible explosion Hearst's treatment was more effective and focused on the enemy who set the bomb — and offered a huge reward to readers Spanish-American War[ change change source ] Pulitzer and Hearst are often credited or blamed for drawing the nation into the Spanish-American War with their sensationalism.
However, most of Americans did not live in New York City, and the decision makers who did live there probably read less sensationalist newspapers like the Times, The Sun or the Post. The most famous example of the exaggeration is the story, which probably is not actually true, that artist Frederic Remington sent Hearst a telegram to tell him that not much was going on in Cuba and "There will be no war.
You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war. But Hearst did want the United States to go to war after a rebellion broke out in Cuba in Nordicom Review, Jubilee Issue , pp. Encircling the Power of Journalism MARTIN EIDE Abstract The power of journalism is decisive in the exercise of power and democracy in modern societies.
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