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Archive for newspapers

  “If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

                    – Hunter S. Thompson      

You’ve undoubtably heard of Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote some of the most telling and influential stories journalism could possibly offer. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “The Rum Diaries,” to name a couple, are extremely educational tools for the young journalist. What could be taken away from these teachings in Gonzo journalism you ask.

If you take a moment to understand the context and setting of Thompson’s works, which were distributed by several of the largest magazines and newspapers in the world, you’ll begin to absorb just what he was for the generation he belonged to, and even more so, the time we live in now. HIs stories were radically honest. 

He could be sent to an NFL game to write a story, and come back a month after deadline with a story that blows the top off the whole organization. He got away with running past deadline because he could be trusted to tell his audience a story, while immensely upsetting to some, about the unreal truths of a time and place.

Thompson infiltrated realms in American journalism that no one else could. After writing “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” in 1971, he started covering George McGovern’s campaign and published “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.” Thompson was fiery and driven to report on what he felt was the real American Dream, and what aught to be.

Ultimately, he didn’t change the way Americans acted, but instead brought forth the truth as no one had ever seen it. Thompson’s way of writing is more important now than ever before. During political and country wide unrest over issues that matter most, honest journalism is the only journalism that deserves an audience.

The quote that introduces this story should give you an idea of the kind of difficulty Hunter S. Thompson faced in being as honest as he was. He always had more to say, yet he understood that the line must not be crossed if he was going to play the game. We, too, play the game.

Photo and courtesy of TheChive.com

under: Comm 455, newspapers
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The New Newspaper

Posted by: | September 30, 2012 | No Comment |

How many of you still read the newspaper…any newspaper?

How many of you get your news from it? How many of you get your news from social media? Well, you’re on a blogging site right now for starters. Either for the best or the worst, online news revenue has surpassed that of the print news. Social media is just how we do business nowadays.

But it’s not only ‘social media’ that is controlling the death of newspapers. It’s newspapers, themselves!! Think about it, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times. They all have websites! If someone wants to read a story from one of these papers online, they sure can. If someone wants a full subscription to one of these online, they can do that as well — avoiding ever picking up a paper copy again.

Not only this, but these newspapers’ websites contain links to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for readers to more easily share stories with the world. So could it be that newspaper giants are helping to destroy their own livelihood?

Maybe, but in reality the answer is ‘NO.’ Social media is the devise that is forcing newspapers to conform to the new norm. Newspapers have no choice but to latch on and ride into the future. If they didn’t, they would go extinct alltogether. Currently, only one thing is for sure. Paper is rapidly being converted to silicon.

under: Comm 455, newspapers, Uncategorized
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As far as Japanese technology goes, some say it is unparalleled. Japan seems to have excelled far more than any other nation in history in this area.

But when it comes to the media, what has Japan done? Paper! In the year 610 A.D. China transferred its form of paper — still primitive at the time — to Japan. The Japanese then transformed paper by using bast fibres from the mulberry tree.

In 1615 newssheets printed from engraved inked tiles — “kawaraban” — began to appear in Japanese societies. Gossip, scandal and sensationalism could be found on them. It would be over two centuries later that the news would be formalized in Japan.

In 1871 Japan began its first daily newspaper — about 150 years after the first English language newspaper was published. It was called the “Yokohama Mainichi Shimbun.”

Although Japan may not have contributed much to our modern media and press, it can still be seen as a revolutionary nation. Considered by many as the world’s first true novel, The Tale of Genji was written by a Heian court lady in the 11th century A.D.

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6 May 1912, New York City: Women publicly marched the streets in the Suffrage Parade as a bold move to further the women’s rights movement and gain momentum for their cause.  These parades were only a small part of the fight for women’s suffrage which took decades to win.

Started in 1848 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the fight took many forms.  Some of the most dramatic and most publicized were these suffrage parades.  One of the most notorious was the 1913 parade in Washington, D.C.

The parade made national headlines, and word of the suffrage movement spread.  Photos accompanied the headlines, and were even used for postcards (something like social media in the early 2oth century).

The media, during this decades long struggle, played a critical role in helping women to gain the right to vote by simply covering the events that were unfolding.  In the end, it didn’t matter if the coverage was negative or positive, but it spread the message of women’s suffrage culminated in the 19th Amendment being passed in 1920.

Today, we see a similar struggle being waged in many parts of the world.  Media in all forms is being used to raise awareness of these issues.  From YouTube

to blogs in the New York Times website, headlines in the Washington Post and social media such as Facebook.

The impact that media is having on the issue of women’s rights, and has had for over more than a century is enormous.  It will only continue to grow as new forms of media and communication are developed and opened up to the public.


under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media, Uncategorized
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“What was the Dean’s main point about the French Revolution?” Professor Klein asked.

The overall class answer was that the press didn’t cause the French Revolution…it contributed to it.

Without the press in 18th century France there would have been no revolution. From 1631-1750 the press was very small and controlled by the government. It was in the 1740’s, however, when this began to change. Philosophes, the Enlightenment and the American Revolution offered novel ideas to the French people.

The French monarchy was censoring the press drastically. Dean Jack Censer stressed that the reason the French government was so able to control the press so much was that newspapers were (and are) printed often. The government could more effectively impede the distribution of newspapers as opposed to books—which are printed one time only.

He even made it a great point to mention how Panckoucke made periodicals less controversial—taking the sensationalized aspects out.

French Revolution Battle

It was when Napoleon became the dictator of France that the number of papers decreased, due to his heightened censorship laws. Other nations besides France controlled the spread of news through the press as well. While France practiced censorship, England exercised licensing and the United States employed libeling.

“All 3 countries went about exerting some sort of control or protection [over the press],” Professor Klein said.

So what was the Dean’s main point? The censorship of the press and sensationalized periodicals were both huge contributing factors to the French Revolution.

under: Comm 455, newspapers, Uncategorized
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Impact of Media: Exposed

Posted by: | September 11, 2012 | No Comment |

The combination of the words exposed and media in a single sentence often conjure thoughts of naked celebrities and nail-bitingly insignificant scandals.  The impact of media has further reaching implications, however, than the latest tabloid headline.  It has the impact of exposure.

In the 1950s and 60s the U.S. was in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement.  As people took sides to stand on in the fight for racial equality, advocates for civil rights knew the importance of involving the media in their campaign, as this clip from CBS News shows.

Without the aid of the media to bring the issue of civil rights to Americans, it may have taken years longer to accomplish.  It was critical to success, especially in the south, that they have the exposure of the media to show Americans what the Civil Rights Movement was about.

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Printing On Time to Posting Online

Posted by: | September 10, 2012 | No Comment |

Since Johannes Gutenberg’s Printing Press—invented around 1436—prints of all kinds have been massively produced. Following this invention, the newspaper was able to spread the news in the form of printed paper.

The time in between Gutenberg’s Printing Press and our modern society of blogging, tweeting and online publications has come to be known as the Gutenberg Parenthesis—meaning an interruption of the ‘word of mouth’ spread of news.

The first English newspaper was the London Gazette, founded in 1666. It was the Industrial Revolution 200 years later that allowed for a continued rise in newspaper production. In fact, in 1850 there were 2,526 different papers in the United States.

Nowadays, however, newspapers are becoming more and more unnecessary in such a technological world. The Internet has replaced traditional forms of publications, greatly affecting the nature of newspapers. We no longer heavily rely on the likings of such an outlet. Our society has turned back to the word of mouth just as it was 500 years ago, before the printing press.

Not only is there less of a need for different positions that newspapers employ—copy readers, editors, reporters, etc.—but the Internet also presents the benefits of instant publication. Newspapers, and individuals alike, have the ability to research a story, write it out, and publish it straight to the Internet. Printing means a newspaper must wait to publish a breaking story until they go to press.

Just a Few Job Positions in a Newspaper:

  • Reporter/Journalist
  • Chief Editor
  • Copy Editor
  • Section Editor
  • News editor
  • Photo/Graphics Staff

It’s been a long time, but we’ve almost finally come full circle. One day in the near future it may seem as if the printing press never existed and there was only ever word of mouth and the Internet.

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Let me take you back to a time when news was not instantaneous. When news was spread by paperboys on street corners and families would learn of the happenings of the world from a piece of paper in the morning and a television set at night.

Life in the 1960’s in America, during the height of the newspaper industry, was an exciting time.

Bob Greene, who spent his early journalism career at the Columbus Citizen-Journal and Columbus Dispatch, reminisces on the wonder years of the American newspaper industry in his memoir, The Late Edition: A Love Story. In his recounts, Greene tells of working as a copyboy for the local newspaper, with high accord:

“All that sound, all that excitement, the motion, the raised voices, the clatter, the sense of something being put together on the fly. I had never seen anything like it. I was in love. I had to be there.”

In an interview with NPR, Greene spoke about life at the Columbus Citizen-Journal and how the experience was instrumental in forming his later career in journalism. His infatuation with the paper was inspiring and inciting.

With all the points of interest that Greene speaks about, I found myself drawn to one more than the others: the treatment of women in the workplace.

I knew of the gender inequalities from shows like Mad Men and from watching movies set in the same time period but in reading the first hand accounts, it struck a different chord and made it more personal.

Greene recounted the struggle that women had working in a male dominant environment. Women were not treated equally as men and had to deal with obscene mistreatment in the form of howling and whistling whenever a woman would walk in. Greene said:

“It was how the men there reacted to women—apparently it was a tradition. I would hear in later years from women who worked at newspapers around the country, that they

had endured it, too. It’s somewhat astonishing, to recall it now: a time when a young woman coming to work each day at a newspaper knew that, on certain floors, this was what would await her.”

What was interesting to me was women would receive this treatment up until at

least the late-80’s and early-90’s. I was reading, Those Guys Have All the Fun, and came across the same abuse.

At ESPN, women were and even to this day are victims of sexual harassment. In the late-80’s, anchor Karie Ross made a stand against the mistreatment. She saw that many of the young female anchors and interns were being sexually harassed and taken advantage of.

In a board meeting with administrators in attendance, Ross spoke out:
“Look, this behavior has got to stop. This is crazy. You guys can’t be doing this. Guys, you must stop sexually harassing these women. Don’t be trading edit time for a date. Quit making all the lewd comments. Just let us work in peace.”
Her bravery would bring the issue to light and would cause administrators to crack down on the abuse that was taking place within their offices.
It’s truly sickening that acts like these occur on a daily basis and those involved are not reprimanded accordingly. With scandals of sexual abuse and misconduct occurring seemingly everyday, it can be disheartening to many. But, when someone is put in a position where they feel uncomfortable and no one does anything, it is more of a tragedy.
The Late Edition was an interesting read, however, I found myself honing my attention to the aspect of sexual harassment throughout instead of other themes.




under: Local news, newspapers, Uncategorized
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Blogging throughout history

Posted by: | November 14, 2011 | No Comment |

How was the first US newspaper, Publick Occurences similar to modern day blogging? Josh Landis and Mitch Butler explain how with the decline of newspapers, blogging has rejuvenated colonial journalism principles in which everyone has a voice.

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Newspapers vs. The Internet

Posted by: | October 31, 2011 | No Comment |

Old news vs. New news. The decline of the newspaper industry is imminent. With a decline in circulation and an increasing number of online newspapers, the paper newspaper that we are accustomed to is on the path to extinction. If this video doesn’t foreshadow it’s demise then I don’t know what does.


under: newspapers, social media
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Few things are as passionate, dangerous or consequential as a population’s will to overthrow its government. Even today, people are exercising their rights to speak up against oppressors by way of assembly through mass media. After all, what could go wrong with a little power of the press?

A French guillotine, circa 1794

In fact, history has also shown us that a lot can go wrong if certain powers are put in the wrong hands.

The American Revolution saw the effects of crusading newspapers in the late 18th century. Inspired by their neighbors across the pond, the French soon followed suit with the hopes that they, too, could use press to promote their secession from the monarchy.

What the French chose to underestimate was the people’s determination to succeed in bringing down the Old Regime.

Read More…

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Fatty Arbuckle, victim of lies

Posted by: | September 5, 2011 | No Comment |
Fatty ArbuckleRoscoe Conkling Arbuckle (1887-1933)

Image via Wikipedia

The media frenzy brought about by the recent Casey Anthony trial is nothing new. Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was caught in the same sort of sensationalist scandal over 90 years ago. Read More…

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