FORA Culture

Season 2006 Episode 0804

Year That Defined American Journalism

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Year That Defined American Journalism
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W. Joseph Cambell explores The Year That Defined American Journalism: 1897 and the Clash of Paradigms.1897 featured a momentous clash of paradigms pitting the activism of William Randolph Hearst's participatory "journalism of action" against the detached, fact-based antithesis of activist journalism as represented by Adolph Ochs of The New York Times, and an eccentric experiment in literary journalism pursued by Lincoln Steffens at the New York Commercial Advertiser. Resolution of the three-sided clash would take years and result ultimately in the ascendancy of the Times' counter-activist model, which remains the defining standard for mainstream American journalism. - Cody's BooksCampbell writes, "In important respects, 1897 was a time not unlike today, when American journalism was in upheaval, when new media technologies (motion pictures and wireless telegraphy, notably) were emerging, when new techniques (such as printing halftone photographs in newspapers published on high-speed presses) were being perfected. It was also the year when American journalism's best-known editorial, 'Is There A Santa Claus?' was published, when the pejorative term 'yellow journalism' first appeared in print, and when the longest-running cartoon, 'Katzenjammer Kids', was first published."moreless
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