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Archive for newspapers

On a tragic Nov. 22 over 52 years ago, Americans were bombarded with the news of President John F. Kennedy assassination in Dallas, Texas. According to Reuters “the six seconds” that ended with the U.S. President’s life, transformed news coverage and the way people perceived the media.



The news spread very rapidly.  According to The Observer, Lee Oswald fired at the President at 12:30 pm, Dallas time. Four minutes later, the United Press International wire reported the attack. Within 30 minutes 68 percent of Americans heard the news of the attack and within 90 minutes 92 percent were aware of the news.

For the first time ever, news outlets of the time had to cover the unexpected developing events heavily and continuously to feed the need of information not only Americans were hungry for, but the whole world. Major news outlets went live using the primitive technology available at the time and silent footage, skipped commercials, and tried to bring the updates to an audience that has never relied on TV as much as it had on newspapers and radio.

The need for news was tremendous worldwide and outlets engaged in a new coverage style that paved the way news is brought to audiences today.

CBS veteran broadcaster Bob Schieffer told Reuters “The Kennedy assassination became the template for coverage”.

In addition to live coverage, correspondents were on the street asking citizens who witnessed the gunfire or were near the area where the president’s motorcade drove by, they were outside police stations and even at the hospital where the president was taken.


under: Comm 455, Local news, newspapers
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Humans have always been thirsty for news, but the way news is gathered and shared is changing every day. The velocity of journalism is changing in parallel with the evolving technological means that facilitate getting, sharing, and exchanging information.

After it used to take years for some news to travel outside of their edge, technology and the internet have been a big contribution to the way we get news. News gathering for journalists has become easier Tips-for-Twitter-Engagementin some ways,  although they still need to double the credibility of the sources. Journalists and anybody else can follow events as they are happening via videos, pictures, twitter and Facebook posts.  There is an overload of online sources, in addition to the fact that most people in developed countries have cellphones which makes the news at their finger tips.

The evolution of news from word of mouth to print to video, audio and back to word of mouth in the form of social media platforms, supports the argument Megan Garber makes in her article “The Gutenberg parenthesis: Thomas Pettitt on parallels between the pre-print era and our own Internet age”. She believes that between the era that followed Johannes Gutenberg, and era of the internet was “essentially an interruption to the broader arc of communication”.


under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media
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Rolling Stone’s destructive path

Posted by: | February 9, 2016 | No Comment |

On November 19, 2014, Sabrina Erdely of Rolling Stone published an article that destroyed the reputation of a fraternal chapter and tore apart the UVA community. The article entitled “A Rape on Campus”, told the story of a girl named Jackie Coakley who was apparently raped by multiple individuals in a heinous hazing stunt. The perpetrator, known as “Haven Monahan”, forced Jackie into this terrifying escapade. Despite the witnesses and numerous perpetrators who may have been there, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence. All police resources have been exhausted and nothing has been found. In fact, there is really nothing to go off of.

Jackie Coakley, the supposed victim of the UVA rape, has been recently ordered to give over her communications with her supposed rapist. If there are no communications, there will be little to no evidence of any incident ever occurring. The Columbian School of Journalism additionally reviewed the Rolling Stone article, pointing out many discrepancies in the article. Nearly all investigations into the case have found inconsistencies in the story given, further reducing the reliability of the article. Nicole Eramo, associate dean at UVA, has pushed a 7.5 million dollar lawsuit against Rolling Stone. Eramo filed this case after her reputation was defiled in the aftermath of the apparent “rape”. Eramo blames Rolling Stone for their lack of fact-checking and willingness to take such an edgy story without any evidence. In addition, Eramo claims that Jackie Coakley is a “serial liar” and that she fabricated the story in order to gain attention.


So how could this article be published in a renowned magazine without any form of fact checking? Perhaps it’s the political agenda of Rolling Stone, paired with their lack of sympathy for anyone who does not represent their audience. Whatever the truth may be, there is one thing that is evident: one article can leave a path of destruction. It is without question that many journalists do not understand the impact of their writing. In this case, I believe Sabrina Erdely knew exactly what she was doing, and that’s the sad part. If she wasn’t on the traditional fraternity witch-hunt than she ultimately failed to provide accurate journalism to her audience.

under: Comm 455, newspapers
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Writing his own stories

Posted by: | February 1, 2016 | No Comment |

“If it bleeds it leads” and in Vlado Taneski’s case, it bled profusely. Vlado Taneski was a Macedonian crime reporter who spent countless hours following a murderer who prayed on the elderly women of his town. According to The Guardian, Taneski reportedly followed a string of serial murders in the town of Tetovo. These murders included violent rapes and mutilations that were incomparable to anything the police had ever seen before. His freelance articles were quickly accepted as main pages for various newspapers in his home country. His accounts of the murders went into excessive detail, beyond that of any other newspaper in the area. These details would lead to a bizarre investigation into the life of Taneski.

Police investigators looked deeply into the accounts of Vlado Taneski, and found that his reports went far beyond the information they gave him. One such report gave a graphic story of a strangling with a phone cord known only to police. His reports warranted further investigation. Taneski was apprehended by the police for the murder of two elderly women. His DNA evidence was found on the two victims. He was also investigated for a third murder, but he committed suicide in a Totevo prison before he could face the justice system. It was found that he was responsible for the killings of  Mitra Simjanoska, Ljubica Licoska,  and Zivana Temelkoska. In addition to the murders, Taneski also housed an extensive collection of pornographic materials in one of his residences.

Along with Taneski’s bizarre alternate lifestyle, investigators found a strange pattern in his killings. All of the women that Taneski killed were all elderly cleaners, just like his mother. They also lived very close to his home. It is believed that these poor elderly women were killed because of Taneski’s torn relationship with his mother. Taneski’s father took his own life in 1990, further complicating Taneski’s familial relationships. It is hard to believe that such relationships could lead to such atrocities, but Taneski’s story is a unique one. His suicide was a final chapter in Tetovo’s book of terror. Perhaps it is bitterly ironic that the news of Taneski’s apprehension and suicide would make the front pages of newspapers throughout Macedonia.


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Broadsides of the 17th Century

Posted by: | November 11, 2014 | No Comment |

A broadside was one of the first forms of widespread printed news. Broadsides are basically one-page sheets of news that often also contained some sort of picture or illustration to depict the message of the article. Most broadsides were set up so that the top part was a “woodcut or copper engraving” of an important, often historical, event, and the lower part was a description of the details of the event.



Broadsides first appeared in the 15th century, but remained an important source of news well into the 17th century as well. Broadsides were a great source of propaganda, which became increasingly significant due to the the Thirty Years War in the early to mid 1600s.

Throughout the Thirty Years War, broadsides were predominantly printed in major cities including Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam.

The broadsides printed during the Thirty Years War are unique because the majority of the publications from this time period focus solely on the war, whereas in the past they had covered a much wider array of topics.

The illustrations in the broadsides encompass a variety of scenes. From city skylines to battles and sieges, as well as victory parades and the glorification of commanders in chief. These broadsides also often included important religious and political symbols of the time period.

Broadsides were very prevalent all over Europe. They were often posted on walls of shops and restaurants, sold on street corners, and even sung in groups to familiar tunes.

As one article states, “By modern standards, the speed, accuracy, and truthfulness of this early picture journalism is remarkable.” Many broadsides have been preserved over the years to help historians piece together the past through the specific events accounted for in these publications.

under: Comm 455, newspapers
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Look how far we’ve come

Posted by: | November 11, 2014 | No Comment |

Feminism has earned a bad rep over the years, and sensationalism in advertising has not helped.

Although we would like to believe that we have achieved gender equality, our past and our present prove otherwise.

Look at this 1950s ad.

Bell & Howell


Clearly the focal point is not the projector. “Far from natural looking, [her breasts] jut out a mile from her chest, looking more like legs bent at the knee,” said Business Pundit blogger Julian. Talk about the oversexualization of women in advertising.

But we’ve gotten farther than these cheap, sexist ads, right?


Laura Bates, founder of the Everday Sexism Project, explains that “sexism still exists in a modern society that perceives itself to have achieved gender equality“.

Take a gander at RadioShack’s 2013 Beats advertisement.

Do I need to point out that all these women have phallic products?

Furthermore this is almost an exact copy of the controversial music video, which is described as “date-rapey.” The music video even comes with its own nudity-packed explicit video, adding to the notion that objectification of women in the media is a prime strategy to gain popularity.

After all, nothing excites an audience like controversy.

Indeed, people actively seek music videos and other media that resemble pornography. Just look at Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda, which set Vevo’s record for most views in 24 hours: 19.6 million.

But in an “attempt” to create something risque, music videos and other media end up tasteless, sexist, and even harmful.

Considering that nothing excites an audience like controversy, will gender equality ever be realized?

under: Comm 455, newspapers
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In London in 1730, The Daily Advertiser began publication. This daily newspaper offered advertising space with news of politics, commerce, and society.

Stanley Morison, a journalism historian, stated in our book that The Daily Advertiser was the “first modern newspaper” that “gained a hold on the commercial classes which it never lost.”

This success caused a plethora of morning dailies to appear in the 1740’s. In fact, the word Advertiser began to replace the word Post in British newspapers.

In these dailies merchants, traders, and financiers finally found something to compete with word of mouth for news of affairs and speculations.

These reports on business were sufficiently thoughtful and organized. With such precision, they transformed haggling into business transactions.

But government officials were not thrilled.

With their business transactions on public display on a daily basis, disparities in prices were reduced. And many traders relied on them.

Still, daily newspapers lasted and flourished even with the introduction of coffeehouses.

And just like so many years ago, individuals still drink their coffee with a side of news.

under: Comm 455, Local news, newspapers
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There’s no noise in Illinois

Posted by: | October 21, 2014 | No Comment |
lake county


100 years ago, Lake County Independent was the local newspaper that predominantly covered news for Lake County, Illinois.

In the early 1900’s, these newspapers were much simpler than today’s.

Local news were really local.

So much so that the sample of newspapers were only a few pages long, and it seems to talk about people as if they should be known to the public.

Informing us of what may seem as trivial decisions at first glance, this newspaper contains the rich history of the United States. It shows us “modern-day folk” just what everyday life meant back then.

For example, on January 5th, 1900, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Bock had a three-month-old who suffered, died, and was buried next to four other little girls. Not only does this text display the facts, but it also reflects the religious nature of that time stating, “it would seem she had budded on earth only to blossom in Heaven”.

This is something that might be scrutinized in today’s world. Although this country’s Constitution was built on religious (as well as moral) values, many today still take issue with it. Look at the “under God” or the “Christmas” versus “Holiday” tree controversy.

Additionally, local news today would probably not include whether or not “Miss Mary Norton is visiting her aunt at Batavia, Ill.” News today is about entertainment. After all, our book does say murder is the most reported crime since it is the most fascinating.

Besides, no ratings, no journalism.

But, do you think we could learn from the 1900’s simpler accounts of news?

under: Comm 455, Local news, newspapers
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New news, old tricks

Posted by: | September 22, 2014 | No Comment |

Coupons win bread for newspapers and consumers.

Move over, Groupon.

Or should I say, advertisements. The once omnipotent printed ad is second to none other than the savior of the  American economy: the coupon. Anyone who has ever binge watched episodes of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing”, probably noticed an alarming constant (aside from obscene savings and doomsday prepper-esque stockpiles). Most of the couponers get their coupons from newspapers or other forms of printed media. They proudly display their binders full of coupons and regale viewers with tales of stealing their neighbor’s paper or dumpster diving for their precious cutouts.

Coupons are the printed ads of the new millennium. They single-handedly save newspapers from a rapid decline. This is great news overall, but especially great for local papers, who may carry coupons exclusive to stores in the community.

In a strange way, coupons are also a deconstructed form of printed news. When compared to ads and even stories, they essentially perform the same function; announce or share previously unknown or new information. How else would you know about  Target’s two-for-one deal on deodorant and toothpaste?

Simply put, you wouldn’t.

coupons clipping



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Newspapers Technically Not In Trouble

Posted by: | November 12, 2012 | No Comment |

Just about 15 years into the ‘online era,’ newspapers are suffering — but not as bad as was once thought.

Besides the fact that daily newspaper circulation has been dropping every year for the past two decades, newspaper companies still experience decent business for a world overwhelmed by the Internet and electronic news.

The case may be that the issue with newspapers has not as much to do with a decline in readers, but a decline in advertisement revenue. By the end of 2011 newspaper circulation revenue was remaining about the same while ad revenue was dropping considerably. There was a 7.3 percent decrease in 2011, making the profit margin between circulation revenue and ad revenue the least it’s been since 1984 — when newspapers were on the rise.

In a digital age, print media is heavily on the decline. In fact, last year Google revenues were $4 billion greater than that of the entire newspaper industry.

There is some hope, however. Newspapers benefit from an array of advantages:

Monopolies – cities usually have one newspaper

Newsgathering – large reporting staffs

Locality – readers want locally knowledgeable news

Readers – quantity and quality of readers

Attention – many people still pick up newspapers

Brand Name – USA Today and The Washington Post both are huge names

Although the world heavily leans toward an Internet-based market, newspapers still retain relevancy and power.

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Boss Tweed

Posted by: | October 16, 2012 | No Comment |

William Marcy Tweed was the epicenter of corruption in New York city during the 1860s-1870s. Immigrants fell servant to his bribes and played pawn in his game to take over the city.

Tweed either owned or payed off every single New York Daily except the New York Times and Harper’s Weekly.

“In 1862, New York aldermen passed a resolution to pay individual reporters $200 a year for “services” to the city, and in the expansive manner of Tammany Hall this figure had been increased tenfold. Even more fundamental to the administration’s ability to influence the editorial content of the newspapers was the city advertising budget. Tweed subsidized the largest papers in New York City—the World, Herald, and Post—by annually placing some $80,000 worth of city advertising in each. During the ring’s reign of corruption, the city treasury funneled $7 million to the newspapers in exchange for their silence.”

Streitmatter, Rodger (2011-12-27). Mightier than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History (Kindle Locations 992-996). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.


Tweed tried to suppress the news, but the truth could not be hidden. The New York Times published expenditures from Boss Tweed’s books to unveil his corruption. But what proved to be more effective were Thomas Nast‘s cartoons.


CREDIT: Nast, Thomas, artist. “Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dum,” 1876. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-117137.


The New York Times based its readership among the upper middle class. Nast’s power was appealing to all audiences.

“I didn’t care a straw for the newspaper articles—my constituents didn’t know how to read. But they couldn’t help but see them damned pictures”  Tweed said in response to Nast’s cartoons.

Overall, Boss Tweed attempted to control the press but ended up failing miserably. The press exposed him and his parties corruption to and us the citizens of New York city. Meanwhile Thomas Nast fought boldly against the Tweed Ring using his pictures to convey his message to the public.


under: Comm 455, newspapers
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History of News

Posted by: | October 7, 2012 | No Comment |

Author of the book “A History of News,” Mitchell Stephens gave a short synopsis of the history of news for the Future of Journalism Project’s Youtube Page. The themes that we continue to discuss in our class are nicely summed up in this five minute video.

What Stephens remarks on is the human race’s desire to get information. He also notes that “news was always in the hands of amateurs  news was, through most if it’s history-through most if it’s human history, was not a spectator sport. it was a sport that we all participated in. we all gathered news, we all told news. at a marketplace, at a campfire, when we met each other in our paths….it’s built into us. it’s a survival factor; this search for awareness to know what’s going on.”

Whether one watches the news, reads the paper, or people talk with one another we all have a desire to learn and know more information. The shear velocity and access to news now is so overwhelming that one sometimes becomes lost in all of the abundance of news. The access and abundance of news is both a benefit and a negative.

While we have access to lots of information, in some cases for free with an internet connection,  it becomes increasingly more difficult to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Who can the people trust to deliver them not just news, but accurate news.

The prime example is that conservatives tend to watch FOX News which reports on issues and brings on guests that reaffirm the conservative values and thoughts. The same can be said for MSNBC which focuses on liberal issues. It has become easier and easier for individuals to reaffirm their own beliefs and ideologies without doing much searching of their own.

We have become a society with access to news, along with the abundance news.  However, are we also an educated public that thinks for ourselves and questions what we see as fact.  This is a question that I do not have answers for. But I am interested to see what others think about the growing amount of news and access to news that allows individuals to become tunnel-visioned into finding news that only reaffirms their own beliefs.

under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media
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