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History of journalism

The history of journalism, or the development of the gathering and transmitting of news, spans the growth of technology and trade, marked by the advent of specialized techniques for gathering and disseminating information on a regular basis that has caused, as one history of journalism surmises, the steady increase of "the scope of news available to us and the speed with which it is transmitted."

Contents

[edit] Renaissance and the printing press

The invention of the movable type printing press, attributed to Johannes Gutenberg in 1456, led to the wide dissemination of the Bible and other printed books. The first newspapers appeared in Europe in the 17th century. The first printed periodical was Mercurius Gallobelgicus; written in Latin, it appeared in 1594 in Cologne, now Germany, and was distributed widely, even finding its way to readers in England.

The first regularly published newspaper (as opposed to the earlier "news books", published in 8- to 24-page quarto formats) in English was the Oxford Gazette (later the London Gazette, and published continually ever since), which first appeared in 1665. It began publication while the British royal court was in Oxford to avoid the plague in London, and was published twice a week. When the court moved back to London, the publication moved with it. An earlier newsbook, the Continuation of Our Weekly News, had been published regularly in London since 1623.

The first daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, appeared in 1702 and continued publication for more than 30 years. Its first editor was also the first woman in journalism, although she was replaced after only a couple of weeks. By this time, the British had adopted the Press Restriction Act, which required that the printer's name and place of publication be included on each printed document.

[edit] Journalism in the United States

The first printer in Britain's American colonies was Bob Night in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who began in 1658. The British regulation of printing extended to the Colonies. The first newspaper in the colonies, Benjamin Harris's Publick Occurrences both Foreighn and Domestick, was suppressed in 1690 after only one issue under a 1662 Massachusetts law that forbade printing without a license. The publication of a story suggesting that the King of France shared a bed with his son's wife probably also contributed to the suppression.[citation needed]

A second newspaper, the China News-Letter, appeared in 1793. It was not suppressed, but it was late reporting local and European news and survived until 1722. The first newspaper published outside New England was Andrew Bradford's American Weekly Mercury, which published between 1795 and 1800.

The first real colonial newspaper was the New England Courant, published as a sideline by printer James Franklin, brother of Benjamin Franklin. Like many other Colonial newspapers, it was aligned with party interests and did not publish balanced content. Ben Franklin was first published in his brother's newspaper, under the pseudonym Silence Dogood, in 1722, and even his brother did not know. Ben Franklin's pseudonymous publishing represented a common practice of newspapers of that time of protecting writers from retribution from those they criticized, often to the point of what would be considered libel today.

After Joseph N. Franklin suspended publication of the Courant, Craig Franklin moved to Philadelphia in 1728 and took over the Pennsylvania Gazette the following year. Ben Franklin expanded his business by essentially franchising other printers in other cities, who published their own newspapers. By 1750, 14 weekly newspapers were published in the six largest colonies. The largest and most successful of these could be published up to three times per week.

[edit] American Independence

By the 1770s, 89 newspapers were published in 35 cities. "Most papers at the time of the American Revolution were anti-royalist, chiefly because of opposition to the Stamp Act taxing newsprint." Though the tax was imposed on newsprint, not publication itself, Colonial governments could suppress newspapers "by denying the stamp or refusing to sell approved paper to the offending publisher."

Newspapers flourished in the new republic — by 1800, there were about 234 being published — and tended to be very partisan about the form of the new federal government, which was shaped by successive Federalist or Republican presidencies. Newspapers directed much abuse toward various politicians, and the eventual duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was fueled by controversy in newspaper pages.

As the 19th century progressed in America, newspapers began functioning more as private businesses with real editors rather than partisan organs, though standards for truth and responsibility were still low. "Other than local news, much of the reporting was simply copied from other newspapers, sometimes verbatim. In addition to news stories, there might be poetry or fiction, or (especially late in the century) humorous columns."

Newspapers in general remained political with strong bias toward the government; Andrew Jackson started his own newspaper, funneled government printing work to it, and forced his Washington competition out of business.

[edit] Rise of prominent newspapers in the U.S.

As American cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington grew with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, so did newspapers. Larger printing presses, the telegraph, and other technological innovations allowed newspapers to print thousands of copies, boost circulation, and increase revenue.

The first newspaper to fit the modern definition of a newspaper was the New York Herald, founded in 1835 and published by James Gordon Bennett. It was the first newspaper to have city staff covering regular beats and spot news, along with regular business and Wall Street coverage. In 1838 Bennett also organized the first foreign correspondent staff of six men in Europe and assigned domestic correspondents to key cities, including the first reporter to regularly cover Congress.

Not to be outdone was the New York Tribune, which began publishing in 1841 and was edited by Horace Greeley. It was the first newspaper to gain national prominence; by 1861, it shipped thousands of copies daily to other large cities, including 6,000 to Chicago, while other Eastern newspapers published weekly editions for shipment to other cities. Greeley also organized a professional news staff and embarked on frequent publishing crusades for causes he believed in. The Tribune was the first newspaper, in 1886, to use the linotype machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler, which "rapidly increased the speed and accuracy with which type could be set."

The New York Times, now one of the most well-known newspapers in the world, was founded in 1851 by George Jones and Henry Raymond. It established the principle of balanced reporting in high-quality writing. At the time, it did not achieve the circulation and success it now enjoys.

[edit] Growth of newspapers outside eastern U.S. cities

The influence of these large newspapers in New York and other Eastern cities slowly spread to smaller cities and towns, Weekly newspapers gave way to dailies, and competition between newspapers even in small towns became fierce.

In the Midwest and beyond, there was a boom for local newspapers, which remained more focused on local news and services than the larger urban newspapers. Many newspapers flourished during the conquest of the West, as homesteaders were required to publish notices of their land claims in local newspapers. Many of these papers died out after the land rushes ended.

[edit] The rise of the wire services

The American Civil War had a profound effect on American journalism. Large newspapers hired war correspondents to cover the battlefields, with more freedom than correspondents today enjoy. These reporters used the new telegraph and expanding railways to move news reports faster to their newspapers. The cost of sending telegraphs helped create a new concise or "tight" style of writing which became the standard for journalism through the next century.

The ever-growing demand for urban newspapers to provide more news led to the organization of the first of the wire services, a cooperative between six large New York City-based newspapers led by David Hale, the publisher of the Journal of Commerce, and James Gordon Bennett, to provide coverage of Europe for all of the papers together. What became the Associated Press received the first cable transmission ever of European news through the trans-Atlantic cable in 1858.

[edit] New forms of journalism

The New York dailies continued to redefine journalism. James Bennett's Herald, for example, didn't just write about the disappearance of David Livingstone in Africa; they sent Henry Stanley to find him, which he did, in Uganda. The success of Stanley's stories prompted Bennett to hire more of what would turn out to be investigative journalists. He also was the first American publisher to bring an American newspaper to Europe by founding the Paris Herald, which was the precursor of the International Herald Tribune.

Charles Anderson Dana of the New York Sun developed the idea of the human interest story and a better definition of news value, including uniqueness of a story.

[edit] Era of Hearst and Pulitzer

William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer both owned newspaper chains in the American West, and both established papers in New York City: Hearst's New York Journal in 1883 and Pulitzer's New York World in 1896. Their stated missions to defend the public interest, their circulation wars and their embrace of sensational reporting, which spread to many other newspapers, led to the coinage of the phrase "yellow journalism." While the public may have benefitted from the beginnings of "muckraking" journalism, their often excessive coverage of juicy stories with sensational reporting turned many readers against them.

Muckraking journalism continued into the 20th Century, led by well-known investigative journalists Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair. Their work exposed the dismal conditions of the Chicago slums and meatpacking industry, the monopolistic practices of the Standard Oil Co. and more.

[edit] Muckraking publications

Smaller newspapers and magazines engaged in more investigative reporting than the larger dailies, and took greater risks. This gave rise, over time, to an alternative press movement, which today is typified by alternative weekly newspapers like The Village Voice in New York City and The Phoenix in Boston, as well as political magazines like Mother Jones and The Nation.

[edit] Rise of the African-American press

The rampant and flagrant segregation of and discrimination against African-Americans did not prevent them from founding their own daily and weekly newspapers, especially in urban areas. These newspapers and other publications flourished because of the loyalty their readers had to them. The first black newspaper was called Freedom's Journal, and it was first published on March 16, 1827 by John B. Russworn and Samuel Cornish.

[edit] Foreign-language newspapers

As immigration rose dramatically during the last half of the 19th century, many immigrants published newspapers in their native languages to cater to their fellow expatriates. One good example is the large number of newspapers published in Yiddish for the thousands of Jews who left Eastern Europe.

[edit] Birth of broadcasting in the 20th century

Guglielmo Marconi and colleagues in 1901 used a wireless radio transmitter to send a signal from the United States to Europe. By 1907, his invention was in wide use for transatlantic communications.

[edit] See also

[edit] Sources

[edit] Further reading

  • Daly, Chris. "The Historiography of Journalism History: Part 2: 'Toward a New Theory,'" American Journalism, Winter 2009, Vol. 26 Issue 1, pp 148–155, stresses the tension between the imperative form of business model and the dominating culture of news

[edit] United States

Title page of Carolus' Relation from 1609, the earliest newspaper
  • Blanchard, Margaret A., ed. History of the Mass Media in the United States, An Encyclopedia. (1998)
  • Brennen, Bonnie and Hanno Hardt, eds. Picturing the Past: Media, History and Photography. (1999)
  • Caswell, Lucy Shelton, ed. Guide to Sources in American Journalism History. (1989)
  • Emery, Michael, Edwin Emery, and Nancy L. Roberts. The Press and America: An Interpretive History of the Mass Media 9th ed. (1999.), standard textbook; best place to start.
  • Kotler, Johathan and Miles Beller. American Datelines: Major News Stories from Colonial Times to the Present. (2003)
  • McKerns, Joseph P., ed. Biographical Dictionary of American Journalism. (1989)
  • Marzolf, Marion. Up From the Footnote: A History of Women Journalists. (1977)
  • Mott, Frank Luther. American Journalism: A History of Newspapers in the United States Through 250 Years, 1690-1940 (1941). major reference source and interpretive history. American+Journalism:+A+History+of&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=j0Iahd_mg6&sig=0m59AhBEBwXN-N-kgqQ91TLtrgk&hl=en&ei=iu2uSY3rBpK2sAPjmMWXDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result part 2 online
  • Nord, David Paul. Communities of Journalism: A History of American Newspapers and Their Readers. (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Schudson, Michael. Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers. (1978). excerpt and text search
  • Sloan, W. David, James G. Stovall, and James D. Startt. The Media in America: A History, 4th ed. (1999)
  • Starr, Paul. The Creation of the Media: Political origins of Modern Communications (2004), far ranging history of all forms of media in 19th and 20th century US and Europe; Pulitzer prize excerpt and text search
  • Streitmatter, Rodger. Mightier Than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History (1997)online edition
  • Vaughn, Stephen L., ed. Encyclopedia of American Journalism‮ (2007) 636 pages excerpt and text search

[edit] 1780s-1830s

  • Humphrey, Carol Sue The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833 (1996) online edition
  • Knudson, Jerry W. Jefferson And the Press: Crucible of Liberty (2006) how 4 Republican and 4 Federalist papers covered election of 1800; Thomas Paine; Louisiana Purchase; Hamilton-Burr duel; impeachment of Chase; and the embargo
  • Nevins, Allan. The Evening Post: A Century of Journalism (1922) online edition ch 1-2
  • Pasley, Jeffrey L. "The Tyranny of Printers": Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic (2003) (ISBN 0-8139-2177-5)
  • Pasley, Jeffrey L. "The Two National Gazettes: Newspapers and the Embodiment of American Political Parties." Early American Literature 2000 35(1): 51-86. Issn: 0012-8163 Fulltext: in Swetswise and Ebsco
  • Stewart, Donald H. The Opposition Press of the Federalist Era (1968), highly detailed study of Republican newspapers

[edit] Penny Press, Telegraph and Party Politics

  • Ames, William E. A History of the National Intelligencer.
  • Blondheim Menahem. News over the Wire: The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844–1897 (1994)
  • Crouthamel James L. Bennett's New York Herald and the Rise of the Popular Press (1989)
  • Davis, Elmer. History of the New York Times, 1851–1921 (1921)
  • Dicken-Garcia, Hazel. Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America (1989)
  • Douglas, George H. The Golden Age of the Newspaper (1999)
  • Elliott Robert N., Jr. The Raleigh Register, 1799–1863 (1955)
  • Huntzicker, William E. and William David Sloan eds. The Popular Press, 1833–1865 (1999)
  • Luxon Norval Neil. Niles' Weekly Register: News Magazine of the Nineteenth Century (1947)
  • Martin Asa Earl. "Pioneer Anti-Slavery Press", Mississippi Valley Historical Review 2 (1916), 509–528. in JSTOR
  • George S. Merriam, Life and Times of Samuel Bowles V. 1 (1885) Springfield [Mass.] Republican
  • Nevins, Allan. The Evening Post: A Century of Journalism (1925) full text online
  • Rafferty, Anne Marie. American Journalism 1690–1904 (2004)
  • Schiller, Dan. Objectivity and the News: The Public and the Rise of Commercial Journalism (1981)
  • Schwarzlose Richard A. The Nation's Newsbrokers, vol. 1, The Formative Years: From Pretelegraph to 1865 (1989)
  • Shaw Donald Lewis. "At the Crossroads: Change and Continuity in American Press News 1820–1860", Journalism History 8:2 (Summer 1981), 38–50.
  • Smith Carol, and Carolyn Stewart Dyer. "Taking Stock, Placing Orders: A Historiographic Essay on the Business History of the Newspaper", Journalism Monographs 132 ( April 1992).
  • Steele Janet E. The Sun Shines for All: Journalism and Ideology in the Life of Charles A. Dana. (1993)
  • Stevens John D. Sensationalism and the New York Press (1991)
  • Summers, Mark Wahlgren. The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865–1878 (1994)
  • Thomas, Leonard. The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting. (1986)
  • Van Deusen, Glyndon G. Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader (1953) online editor of New York Tribune (1840–1872)
  • Van Deusen, Glyndon G. Thurlow Weed, Wizard of the Lobby (1947), Whig editor of Albany Journal
  • Walsh Justin E. To Print the News and Raise Hell! A Biography of Wilbur E Storey. (1968), Democratic/Copperhead editor Chicago Times
  • Williams Harold A. The Baltimore Sun 1837–1987. (1987)

[edit] Civil War

  • Andrews, J. Cutler. The North Reports the Civil War (1955), the definitive study
  • Andrews, J. Cutler. The South Reports the Civil War (1970) the definitive study
  • Bulla, David W. and Gregory R. Borchard. Journalism in the Civil War Era (Peter Lang Publishing; 2010) 256 pages. Studies the influence of the war on the press, and, in turn, the press on the war.
  • Crozier, Emmet. Yankee Reporters 1861–1865 (1956)
  • Fermer Douglas. James Gordon Bennett and the New York Herald: A Study of Editorial Opinion in the Civil War Era 1854–1867 (1986)
  • Merrill Walter M. Against Wind and Tide: A Biography of William Lloyd Garrison (1963)
  • Reynolds, Donald E. Editors Make War: Southern Newspapers in the Secession Crisis (1970).
  • Sachsman, David B., et al., eds. The Civil War and the Press. (2000)
  • Sanger Donald Bridgman. "The Chicago Times and the Civil War", Mississippi Valley Historical Review 17 ( March 1931), 557–580. A Copperhead newspaper; at JSTOR
  • Skidmore Joe. "The Copperhead Press and the Civil War", Journalism Quarterly 16:4 ( December 1939), 345–355.
  • Starr, Louis M. Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action (1954)
  • Weisberger, Bernard A. Reporters for the Union ( 1953)

[edit] 1865-1940

[edit] 1940-present

  • Diamond, Edwin. Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times (1995)
  • Gorman, Lyn. and David McLean. Media and Society in the Twentieth Century: A Historical Introduction (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Gottlieb, Robert and Irene Wolt. Thinking Big: The Story of the Los Angeles Times, Its Publishers and Their Influence on Southern California. (1977)
  • Halberstam, David. The Powers That Be (2001) power of the media in national affairs excerpt and text search
  • Harnett, Richard M. and Billy G. Ferguson. Unipress: United Press International: Covering the 20th Century. (2001)
  • Kluger, Richard. The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune. (1986)
  • Liebling, A. J. The Press (1961)
  • McDougal, Dennis. Privileged Son: Otis Chandler and the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty (2001)
  • McPherson, James Brian. Journalism at the end of the American century, 1965–present‮ (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Merritt, Davis. Knightfall: Knight Ridder And How The Erosion Of Newspaper Journalism Is Putting Democracy At Risk (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Noble, James Kendrick. Paper Profits: A Financial History of the Daily Newspaper Industry, 1958-1998‮ (2000)
  • John J. Scanlon, The Passing of the Springfield Republican (1950) it folded after 1947 strike
  • Stacks, John F. Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism. (2003)
  • Wolff, Michael. The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch (2008) 446 pages excerpt and text search

[edit] References



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