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History of American Journalism Essay

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Humans, it seems, have an innate need to feel connected on a global level with one another. Our history as a civilization shows the importance that we have placed on sending and retrieving the latest news so that we may be ever informed on the happenings of the world. Beginning at first with the sending of messages of news to each other through conversations to the press explosion that Gutenberg set off with the invention of his printing press, people remained connected. The idea of public in the eyes of journalism has changed, in some aspects, over the course of time in America. In the beginning American’s were given Party Presses that were funded and exclusively wrote about wealthy political candidates at the time and in time came Benjamin Day who created the first Penny Paper to flourish in 1833. The Penny Papers turned the tide of the circulation of news from the wealthy elite who were far more interested in the politics of the day to the working masses who were for the first time given stories that they cared about. (Stephens 2007)
An example of separating an audience and informing them of news is shown during the American Revolution where writers would frequently refer to their audience as Americans (first appearance of this word) as well as denouncing the British as to incorporate a stronger bond between the reader and that paper. The journalist’s role of writing for their publics varied depending on which newspaper organization they worked for. In the beginning with the circulation of the Party Press the journalists wrote exclusively for their employer and promulgated their wishes upon the readers. As this form of paper faded out and the wildly successful Penny Press found its footing the marketplace by offering new story...


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... reach out to the masses and write to them in a manner that most closely reflects their audiences as well as the concept of the government setting up a barrier between itself and the press. What has changed in the reporting style of news has changed still in the culture of the people who the reporters are trying to relate-I believe that if you try and find a paper suiting the vast majority of interests of Americans from 150 years ago you would still be able to find a magazine or an article displaying your topic showing that although the times are different and researching topics has become much, much easier that interests may still remain the same.















Work Cited:
Stephens, Mitchell. A History of News, 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press 2007
Cramer, Janet M.. Media History Society: A Cultural History of U.S. Media. Wiley-Blackwell 2009


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