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The Influence of Mass Media on American History

Powerful Essays
During the early 1900’s and late 1800’s precipitated the first true form of American media. The daily newspapers have been a part of the United States for some time, but during 1880’s and 1890’s reports such as Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst began to transform the newspaper in order for it to become the first major stepping stone in mass media. These publishers, especially Hearst, took advantage of the American involvement in foreign affairs. Hearst convinced his audience that sinking of a U.S ship during the Spanish-American War obliged a military response. Although Hearst was not the initial cause of the war, there was proof that he had the power to distort information, images and options. By World War 1, the media involvement increase by a tremendous amount.
The magazines were one form of mass media that influenced that US involvement in World War 1. Magazines such as Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, and McCall’s would publish copies in the millions. The increase in magazine production restructured the entire media industry, creating competition between newspapers. This caused an increase of newspapers to leave the old and bring in the new a lot faster. This competition created a motivation to get the new news faster and more efficiently than ever before and also the decrease in value between the newspaper and also the magazine. This decrease in value emerged the advertisements within newspapers and magazines.
Advertisements would soon, also, become a major factor in mass media and development in America during the early 1900’s. Advertising became one Americas stepping stones to put the power of media into their control. This provided political parties, ...

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...d to the government officials, and was also one event that did not support the national government. This media exposure helped provide information that the Johnson and Nixon administrations helped cover up. By 1968, the My Lai Massacre was detriment to the government because of the negative attention the media was feeding to the American people.
As television exposed the truth of government, so did Journalists. Daniel leaking of the Pentagon Papers that explained in detail the Vietnam War, and the leaking of the information to the New York Times in 1971. Scandals like this played an active role throughout the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s. This eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. The critical stand point of the journalists led to the marked contradictory of American politics that grew into turbulent during the 1960s.
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