Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies

Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

The yellow press period in American journalism history has produced many powerful and enduring myths-almost none of them true. This study explores these legends, presenting extensive evidence that:

-The yellow press did not foment-could not have fomented-the Spanish-American War in 1898, contrary of the arguments of many media historians.

-The famous exchange of telegrams between the artist Frederic Remington and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst-in which Hearst is said to have vowed to furnish the war with Spain-almost certainly never took place.

-The readership of the yellow press was not confined to immigrants and people having an uncertain command of English, as many media historians maintain. rather yellow journals were most likely read across the social strata of urban America.

-The term yellow journalism emerged and took hold during a period of raging competition and intolerance among newspaper editors in New York City-and did not directly result from the rivalry between Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, as most media historians claim.

The study also presents the results of a detailed content analysis of seven leading U. S. newspapers at 10 year intervals, from 1899 to 1999. The content analysis-which included the Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Raleigh News and Observer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, San Francisco Examiner and Washington Post-reveal that some elements characteristic of yellow journalism have been generally adopted by leading U. S. newspapers. This critical assessment encourages a more precise understanding of the history of yellow journalism, appealing to scholars of American journalism, journalism history, and practicing journalists.

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About the author

W. JOSEPH CAMPBELL an award-winning reporter during his 20-year career in journalism, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at American University. He is the author of The Emergent Independent Press in Benin and Cote d'Ivoire: From Voice of the State to Advocate of Democracy (Praeger, 1998).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2001
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Pages
209
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ISBN
9780275966867
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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David Nasaw's magnificent, definitive biography of William Randolph Hearst is based on newly released private and business papers and interviews. For the first time, documentation of Hearst's interactions with Hitler, Mussolini, Churchill, and every American president from Grover Cleveland to Franklin Roosevelt, as well as with movie giants Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Irving Thalberg, completes the picture of this colossal American. Hearst, known to his staff as the Chief, was a man of prodigious appetites. By the 1930s, he controlled the largest publishing empire in the country, including twenty-eight newspapers, the Cosmopolitan Picture Studio, radio stations, and thirteen magazines. As the first practitioner of what is now known as synergy, Hearst used his media stronghold to achieve political power unprecedented in the industry. Americans followed his metamorphosis from populist to fierce opponent of Roosevelt and the New Deal, from citizen to congressman, and we are still fascinated today by the man characterized in the film classic CITIZEN KANE. In Nasaw's portrait, questions about Hearst's relationships are addressed, including those about his mistress in his Harvard days, who lived with him for ten years; his legal wife, Millicent, a former showgirl and the mother of his five sons; and Marion Davies, his companion until death. Recently discovered correspondence with the architect of Hearst's world-famous estate, San Simeon, is augmented by taped interviews with the people who worked there and witnessed Hearst's extravagant entertaining, shedding light on the private life of a very public man.
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