Yellow journalism

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The Yellow Kid for Hearst's New York Journal - Yellow journalism, the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation. The phrase was coined in the 1890s to describe the tactics employed in furious competition between two New York City newspapers, the World and the Journal.
Joseph Pulitzer [protagonist of yellow journalism] succeeded in building the circulation of the Sunday World in New York to over 300 thousand in the early 1880s...he pioneered the use of colored comics in newspapers, which did much to spur the circulation of his Sunday editions. One cartoon in particular made history. It featured bald headed, toothless, grinning kid clad in a yellow sack-like garment. The 'yellow kid’, as the character came to be called, appeared in settings that depicted life in slums of New York and the cartoon was extremely popular.

Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.

Quotes[edit]

  • Yellow journalism, the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation. The phrase was coined in the 1890s to describe the tactics employed in furious competition between two New York City newspapers, the World and the Journal.
    • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica in: yellow journalism, Encyclopædia Britannica.
  • It is evident that journalism no more acts as the watchdog of the society, it has conveniently shifted its spotlight from the betterment of society to fulfilling their own desire of climbing higher on the ladder of TRP ratings. This precisely defines yellow journalism.
  • Sensationalist news delivery, where the so-called 'yellow press' routinely outsold the more honest, truthful, unbiased newspapers, does stand out as a particularly dark era in journalistic history... It was with the onset of the rapid industrialization that yellow journalism took birth.
    • Rituj Chopra, Suchi Swami in: "Yellow Journalism".
  • Penny Press is a term that describes the mass appeal press of the early nineteenth century in New York. Newspapers were sold foe a penny in the streets and they made a profit from advertisers, and were oriented towards less educated, ordinary citizens. With bold eye-gripping headlines and various escapades to generate or report the news Hearst’s Examiner [in San Francisco] began to climb in circulation [due to yellow journalism].
    • Vir Bala Aggarwal, V. S. Gupta in: "Handbook of Journalism and Mass Communication", p. 169.
  • Joseph Pulitzer [protagonist of yellow journalism] succeeded in building the circulation of the Sunday World in New York to over 300 thousand in the early 1880s...he pioneered the use of colored comics in newspapers, which did much to spur the circulation of his Sunday editions. One cartoon in particular made history. It featured bald headed, toothless, grinning kid clad in a yellow sack-like garment. The 'yellow kid’, as the character came to be called, appeared in settings that depicted life in slums of New York and the cartoon was extremely popular.
    • Vir Bala Aggarwal, V. S. Gupta in: "Handbook of Journalism and Mass Communication", p. 169-70.
  • Hearst purchased the New York Journal in 1895...seeing the popularity of the Yellow Kid...bought the cartoonist (Richard F. Outcault) from his rival with a large salary...then published more comics, more sensational reports and more human interest material which led to increased circulation...Now Pulitzer and Hearst were engaged in fierce circulation battle as each other attempted to out sensationalize the other...As one press critique put it the duel between these two spread “death, dishonor and disaster” all over page one sex, murder, popularized medicine, pseudoscience, self-promotion and human interest stories filled the two newspapers. This type of reporting became known as yellow journalism, and whatever its faults it sold newspapers.
    • Vir Bala Aggarwal, V. S. Gupta in: "Handbook of Journalism and Mass Communication", p. 170
...Horrific tales described the situation in Cuba--female prisoners, executions, valiant rebels fighting, and starving women and children figured in many of the stories that filled the newspapers. But it was the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor that gave Hearst his big story--war. After the sinking of the Maine, the Hearst newspapers, with no evidence, unequivocally blamed the Spanish, and soon U.S. public opinion demanded intervention. - PBS.
  • Yellow journals like the New York Journal and the New York World relied on sensationalist headlines to sell newspapers. William Randolph Hearst understood that a war with Cuba would not only sell his papers, but also move him into a position of national prominence. From Cuba, Hearst's star reporters wrote stories designed to tug at the heartstrings of Americans. Horrific tales described the situation in Cuba--female prisoners, executions, valiant rebels fighting, and starving women and children figured in many of the stories that filled the newspapers. But it was the sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana Harbor that gave Hearst his big story--war. After the sinking of the Maine, the Hearst newspapers, with no evidence, unequivocally blamed the Spanish, and soon U.S. public opinion demanded intervention.
The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first "media war." During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. - PBS.
  • The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first "media war." During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain.
    • PBS: in:"yellow journalism".
  • Influential figures such as Theodore Roosevelt led a drive for U.S. overseas expansion that had been gaining strength since the 1880s. Nevertheless, yellow journalism of this period is significant to the history of U.S. foreign relations in that its centrality to the history of the Spanish American War shows that the press had the power to capture the attention of a large readership and to influence public reaction to international events. The dramatic style of yellow journalism contributed to creating public support for the Spanish-American War, a war that would ultimately expand the global reach of the United States.
The peak of yellow journalism, in terms of both intensity and influence, came in early 1898, when a U.S. battleship, the Maine, sunk in Havana harbor. The naval vessel had been sent there not long before in a display of U.S. power and, in conjunction with the planned visit of a Spanish ship to New York, an effort to defuse growing tensions between the United States and Spain.
  • The era of yellow journalism may be said to have ended shortly after the turn of the century, with the World’s gradual retirement from the competition in sensationalism. Some techniques of the yellow-journalism period, however, became more or less permanent and widespread, such as banner headlines, coloured comics, and copious illustration; in other media, most notably television and the Internet, many of the sensationalist practices of yellow journalism have become more commonplace.
    • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica in:"yellow journalism".
  • The emergence and spread of "yellow journalism," moreover, coincided with a vigorous, well-publicized but little remembered and ultimately failed campaign in metropolitan New York to exclude the New York Journal and New York World from public and university libraries, reading rooms, social organizations, clubs and other institutions. Yellow journalism was in fact the emotional and rhetoric centerpiece for the crusade, to which Ervin Wardman and other conservative editors lent ardent endorsement.
    • W. Joseph Campbell in: "Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies", p. 26.
  • The first published use of yellow journalism came in January 1897, three months after Hearst and Pulitzer had begun publishing their rival “Yellow kids
    • W. Joseph Campbell in: "Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies", p. 26.
  • Close approximations of the term [yellow journalism] were in use by early 1897, as indicated in the letters of Richard Harding Davis, the war correspondent who at the time was on assignment for the Journal in Cuba. But the best case for the first published use of the phrase – and certainly the first sustained use of the phrase – goes to Wardman, an ascetic, Harvard-educated editor...
    • W. Joseph Campbell in: "Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies", p. 27.
  • The diffusion of “yellow journalism” was secured when the Journal embraced the term in an editorial in mid-May 1898, during the Spanish American War. In doing so the Journal identified itself with patriotic Icons: Every innovator in the world has known for its good has been ‘yellow’ to what draper describes as ‘that mass of common men who have impeded the progress of civilization in very country in every age. Caesar was yellow to the plutocrats of the Roman Senate. Napoleon was yellow to the traditional strategists whom he routed by scorning their rules. Washington was yellow to the Tories, and so were Jefferson and Franklin and Paine, and all the bold men who created this republic. The United States is doing an extremely yellow thing in waging this war to help another people instead of to fill its own pockets. An the sun in heaven is yellow – the sun which is to this earth what the Journal is to American journalism.
    • W. Joseph Campbell in: "Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies", p. 38-39.
  • In many ways I still resent the wretched yellow journalism that was clearly evident in (the media's) treatment of the game — 60 Minutes in particular. I've never watched that show after Ed Bradley's interview with me because they rearranged my answers. When I sent some copies of letters from mothers of those two children who had committed suicide who said the game had nothing to do with it, they refused to do a retraction or even mention it on air. What bothered me is that I was getting death threats, telephone calls, and letters. I was a little nervous. I had a bodyguard for a while.
  • Because of a sudden impetus in the newspaper machines and advancements in technology thousands of papers could be printed in a single night. This is believed to have brought into play one of the most important characteristics of yellow journalism - the endless drive for circulation. And unfortunately, the publisher's greed was very often put before ethics. Be it highlighting Mallika Sherawat's half clad dance on New Years Eve, presenting superstitious notions of communities thriving for three minutes of fame or screening the cat fight of a professor's wife and his love interest, the media has left no stone unturned in order to add more zeros to its bank account.
    • Rituj Chopra, Suchi Swami in: "Yellow Journalism".
  • Yellow journalism has not only affected and victimized the general public and has not even spared the apex court of the nation, the Supreme Court. In the high profile case of the Booker-prize winner Arundhati Roy, blatant and unconstructive criticism of a Supreme Court decision was witnessed.
    • Rituj Chopra, Suchi Swami in: "Yellow Journalism".
  • It is not astounding that yellow journalism has created a hue and cry in society and because it is a fact that the media is a very powerful and influential tool, which has, a great reach throughout the country. It has the power to either 'make or break' a person.
    • Rituj Chopra, Suchi Swami in: "Yellow Journalism".

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