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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yellow (ed) Journalism #1

I thought I would start a new mini-series of posts categorized by the type of old newsprint articles I come across.  Just as advertisers will do or say anything to get your attention, so too, did many newspaper publishers. "Yellow Journalism"  was born out of the war between competing newspapers during a time of great tension between Spain and the U.S.  In order to gain the attention of the readers these newspaper publishers, instead of reporting just the facts, presented sensationalist headlines and stories meant to illicit an emotional response from the reader. "Remember the Maine" was the response to the Hearst newspapers blaming the Spanish for the sinking of that ship, which prompted U.S. intervention and eventually war to be declared - with no hard evidence that the Spanish were actually responsible.  

When I see old newspapers with stories of a sexual nature, I get suspicious. With everything that can be reported, ultimately it is the news editors that choose which stories stay, and which go. With the primary interest being in the Paper's bottom line, I suppose a paper has to go with what readers will stop and read.    Case in point:
Maybe titillating for 1959, but reading this now, I have to laugh and call B.S. I don't deny that there are unscrupulous Grad students that might try this gimmick, but it reads like a cheap novel and not like fact-based reporting. "Dr Sperman" really?  Are they sure this wasn't a fraternity prank?

1 comment:

  1. Who hasn't pulled that old gag a million times...
    Yours medically,
    Dr. Dick Yankman


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