The life of a journalist in the 1890’s was very challenging. In spring of 1897, journalists were fired from New York newspapers (Campbell, 122). This was due to the assumption that some newspapers believed that the field was filled with “deadwood, not promising talent,” (Campbell, 123). Also, many reporters remained anonymous so that they would not seek to reach personal fame. The readers did not know much about the reporters, because they were not meant to be treated as famous people. Instead they should have expected lack of respect and harsh treatment (Campbell, 123). Bylines were not used in order to prevent increase to their value of the newspapers. Journalism lacked stable employment and were not paid efficiently. Young newspaper reporters in New York got paid $10 to $15 a week, averaging around $15,000 a year. But, more respected newspapers such as the ones in Washington D.C., were getting paid around $40 to $50 a week. People were not really enforced to join the field of journalism unless if they needed to, due to the harsh conditions that a journalist would have to endure.
1897 – The Mood
The Year that Defined American Journalism studies the series of remarkable and critical moments in American journalism during 1897, a year of momentous evolution that helped redefine the profession and shape its modern lines. This defining year featured an important clash of paradigms fighting the activism of William Randolph Hearst 's sharing 'journalism of action ' against the separate, fact-based opposite of activist journalism, by the name of Adolph Ochs of the New York Times, and an unconventional experiment in literary journalism pursued by Lincoln Steffens at the New York Commercial-Adverti...
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...rained and expected not to participate in the events and topics they cover; they are to treat the news impartially, in an even-handed manner. Those values are important to the vision for the New York Times. His counter-activist model proved best able to absorb and accommodate the multiple stresses and pressures that were reshaping American journalism at the end of the nineteenth century, transforming it into a decidedly big business that attracted well-educated professionals to its editorial and reporting ranks. In 1897, though it seemed highly unlikely that the Times’ emergent model had any chance of prevailing, given the newspaper’s modest circulation and its precarious financial status. In any event, the choice among the three rival paradigms was clearly laid down in 1897. During that crowded year, the character and future of American journalism were put in play.
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