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Schudson: Chapter 2

Posted by: | December 3, 2009 | No Comment |

Chapter Two of Michael Schudson‘s “Discovering the News: A Social History of American Newspapers” (see picture of Schudson below), discusses the bitterness between William Randolph Hearst and Richard Harding Davis over a story in Cuba (1897) where three Cuban women on an American ship was  searched and stripped by male Spanish officials; Davis never states that the Cuban women were searched by men. 


Source: Wikipedia     

While, the Cuban women were detained, they were not searched and stripped by these male Spanish officials, but were searched by other women.  Hearst published this inaccuracy in the New York Journal and Davis felt insulted by Hearst for publishing it.          

Schudson also discusses how reporters became an important component in the world of newspapers and how penny papers became the first to use reporters to report on local news.  The Civil War had a huge impact on the newspaper industry, according to Schudson, especially with regards to newspapers in New York, which spent between $60,000 and $100,000 on stories and reports about the war.  Other cities, particularly in the West, spent less money (between $10,000 and $60,000) on reporting the Civil War.  

Schudson concludes Chapter two by discusing how journalism became a respected field of work and the influence of science and realist thought on journalists and reporters during the 1880’s and 1890’s.

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