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American Journalism pt. 1

Posted by: | November 21, 2010 | No Comment |

“The very basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 1787

“The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. [For] to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves-and the better the teacher, the better the student body.”
— Investor Warren Buffett


  • Immigration and industry booms
  • Journalists question the big businesses‘ factory conditions
  • President Theodore Roosevelt called these journalists muckrakers
  • Yellow journalism in full swing
  • Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic

Theodore Roosevelt, sues Joseph Pulitzer and New York World for libel


  • Investigative reporting and war correspondents overtook the muckrakers of the 1900s
  • Newspapers were a source of activism for political parties and for social equality
  • Groundwork was laid for radio to make a huge impact on journalism and society in the 1920’s
  • Newsreels were being developed during this time period

Birth of a Nation clip


  • Rise of consumer culture and mass entertainment (by way of radio and movies)
  • Changes in gender roles and sexual mores
  • Prohibition, wild speculation about the stock market, and unhealthy corporate structures lead to the Great Crash
  • Jazz and tabloid journalism created a new age of sensationalism which focused on: sex and crime

Henry Luce, creator of Times, Life, Fortune and Sports Illustrated

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