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Yellow Journalism Effect on Media News and Journalism

Updated May 2, 2022
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Yellow Journalism Effect on Media News and Journalism essay

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Throughout the American history, there have been many wars. One that has caught an attention is the Spanish-American war. This was battle between the United States and Spain in 1898, that lasted about ten weeks, April 25, 1898-August 2, 1898 (Hispanic Division Library of Congress). In this essay, it will present the idea of how it was possible for yellow journalism to have a spark in helping declare the war. In this paper, it will evaluate discuss and discuss how yellow journalism affected the media news and journalism, the public (everyday people reading the newspaper), and the legislation. It will also talk evaluate other forms that helped present ideas that helped declare war, other than yellow journalism. The essay will be based on research made, not solely on one and look at examples of the newspaper made at the time that caught the reader’s attention to help support the argument that yellow journalism was, in fact, a major reason that The United States declared War with Spain to help Cuba’s Independence.

The media news in 1897 was a time of evolution for American journalism. It was the year when technology was becoming more advanced and the first motion pictures were created with the zoopraxiscope (Dr. Campbell). In this year the advancement of journalism was created as well. In this source, the purpose Campbell’s research was to show the advancement in America journalism for the audience to understand its evolution throughout time, especially in 1897 was in competition and it showed a different way of how people who buy or see newspaper in their daily lives changed from information to recreating stories and news every day to keep the audience informed.

Hearst was an American journalist, well known for beginning the yellow journalism sensationalizing stories. How did Hearst begin this way? He was the son of a U.S Senator, George Hearst, and William Hearst had a passion for journalism (Giebelhaus and Polin). Hearst was greatly influenced by Pulitzer journalistic style and when he moved to New York, he bought the New York Journal and started writing in the same style as Pulitzer (Giebelhaus and Polin). William Hearst was an intelligent man, he bought the New York Journal newspaper company the same year as the Cuban revolution in 1895 was occurring, it was a perfect time for him to start writing (Giebelhaus and Polin). It is important to know a little bit of background of the authors and editors such as Hearst because it shows the power that they have or the ability that makes their newspaper stand out more than others at the time especially for its popularity and competition at the time.

Now there are many thoughts that say that yellow journalism was just a factor to a certain extent in the cause of the Spanish American War, but the conflict seems to be formed mostly by yellow journalism. If yellow journalism did not exist at the time then there would not be so much dislike towards the Spaniards or a lot of reason for the United States to be involved, because then there would not be a lot of information or even stories of Cuba that could lead to a great amount of dislike towards Spain. That’s why it is important to understand the background of authors. For example, Hearts is well-known for writing stories in his newspapers on negative information about Spain, it gives the idea of Hearst did not like Spaniards compared to another newspaper, like Pulitzer. After all, Hearst was competing against Joseph Pulitzer, another sensationalist that was well known in the region of New England in the USA. They fought for the number of people that read and bought their newspapers. They used the techniques of melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to grasps the audience attention, it was a new way to present news to the public (Laurniko).

By Pulitzer and Hearst using these techniques are a great way to get the attention of the audience and it would be like reading an adventurous book but this was news. Surely, not everyone was reading the newspapers, but at the time they did not have technology that would allow the world to connect and be able to know instantly what was happening in the world, like today. How would the people at the time be able to know if what they read was accurate? It would be easy for them to believe what the newspaper was saying because it was most of the people’s source for information of what was going on in the world. This source that they were receiving affected the media news because it was being sensationalized. This meant that they had to use techniques that would interest people and use exaggeration like having interesting headlines such as the title used by Pulitzer that said, “Maine explosion caused by bomb or torpedo?” The examples of Hearst titles in his newspapers were, “Destruction of the War Ship Main was the work of an Enemy?” They were using these titles to gain popularity but also it was also a way to have an increase in tension build-up. They were creating a new way how to write journalism.

The rivalry that was occurring between Hearst and Pulitzer was hiring one of Pulitzers cartoonist that he fired, Richard Outcault, and other “stolen” staff, which resulted in a competition between them (Giebelhaus and Polin). Before Hearst came along with his journalism to the public in New York, Pulitzer had his own motto, “Accuracy! Tenderness! Accuracy!” but he forgot it along the way with Hearst being a competition (Jolley). It seems that Pulitzer forgot that the public was reading and Hearst just wanted to be popular among the people. They were both very intelligent people, but they did not realize that their exaggerated journalism was going to affect the people and sway their opinions and create hatred towards the Spaniards. Hearst was anti-Spaniard and his newspaper says it repeatedly talking about Spain as the enemy. When the Cuban revolution happened, Hearst saw an opportunity to send a person to Spain as a spy and break out a girl named, Evangeline Cisnero, a woman in prison (Giebelhaus and Polin). This allowed for great attention for Hearst to write about the mistreatment of women in Cuba and get an insight of it but it also made Hearst get more recognition nationally.

With that being stated, it relates to what Hearst believed in journalism action, which was putting journalism into the public’s lives, it was what Hearst was achieving with his newspapers. This Cuban war of independence helped revolutionized newspaper because it helped Hearst and Pulitzer yellow journalism newspaper’s to receive more attention and a new way of reading media to the public. The term yellow journalism was created by Pulitzer, from the New York World in a comic called “Hogan’s Alley,” and then resulted with the cartoon of the yellow kid (Giebelhaus and Polin). Before this, Pulitzer was a man who lived by a saying where he believed in accuracy and tenderness (Jolley). But, somewhere along when he saw that his competition was Hearst, a student who had looked up to him, his newspaper was increasing Pulitzers ratings. Once that occurred, Pulitzer’s writing concepts had changed and focused more on popularity and winning over the public, which results in also an increase in money.

Essentially their rivalry was based not only on popularity but the stake of their newspaper company and having enough money to support the companies running, or what would be their reason to be having a competition. When there is a competition it results in drastic measures for people to get what they want, in this case, is to change the style of writing and what the public will be reading. For instance, Hearst ordered to jailbreak a Cuban woman, so that they would be able to get information about the mistreatment of Cuban women caused by Spaniards. This made Hearst gain popularity. Events like this were helped by the muckrakers. This term was officially called as muckraker in 1906 but it was used throughout the 1890s. A muckraker would be a person who investigates and uncovers on affairs of corruption (Musser). Hearst was using others such as others to get information and receive second-hand information even if it was not correct information when he sent special reporters to Cuba.

Looking back in time, if people analyze the history of a newspaper there is still an existence of yellow journalism, although the term is not known before Pulitzer and Hearst, the ideas of it are present. It is evident reading the newspaper of their work that there is clear exaggeration being stated in their newspapers but time has passed and the public has been able to know what has been analyzed from historians all over the world involved in this case. Before Pulitzer and Hearst newspapers, in the 1770s there was in existing American journalism already, there were people who had their names under pseudonyms such as Benjamin Franklin. There was also newspaper who was based on a certain political party such as the Federalist and the Republican newspapers (WHE). This brought rivalry between opposing parties in the newspaper world and resulting then in trying to make the other party in a bad manner. The point in that statement is that it was currently happening with the newspapers that were being published by Pulitzer and Hearst. They were manipulating their stories in order to beat the other to gain popularity and profit. What they were doing was sensationalizing their stories to make it interesting to the audience giving the information incorrectly and controlling the public’s viewpoint.

Yellow journalism affected everyday people because outside of New York, the newspapers that were being published by Pulitzer and Hearst were being read by Americans. It was not the only newspaper being published because there are others such as, “The Dial” and “The Call,” and many other newspapers that presented the news to the public. Even though there were other newspapers being published as well, the newspapers being printed by William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer had a recognizable name for their war with each other and not only that but being the two first and former editors of publishing their news with exaggerated and eye-catching themes and photographs that would capture the reader’s attention. Yellow journalism was a different method, especially since this type of news form had a different way of telling the public news creating sensationalized stories. Hearst and Pulitzer covered stories in their newspapers were bringing attention the situation of Cuba’s Independence revolution.

The public reading the news on the USS Maine story that was created by Hearst helped influence the public of United States opinion to go to war with Spain because the yellow journalism that was being written on them, it made Spain have a bad image and be looked as evil. It swayed the public to that the United States should go to war with Spain not only because of the ship being blown up off near Cuba but also because it was a reminder of the United States trying to seek their own independence and reading the stories that were created by Pulitzer and especially by Hearst was not helping Spain’s image. By looking at this, it shows how a newspaper can change the public’s perspective on an issue because since newspapers are the main sources of news it shows how it can affect the people’s viewpoint on it.

Yellow Journalism Effect on Media News and Journalism essay

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Yellow Journalism Effect on Media News and Journalism. (2022, Apr 30). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/yellow-journalism-effect-on-media-news-and-journalism/

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