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Yellow Journalism

By | Feb. 2013
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In the late eighteenth century America’s “New York World” was owned by Joseph Pulitzer and the “New York Journal was owned by Randolph Hearst. The term “Yellow Journalism was first coined during the newspaper wars between these two leading newspapers. In an attempt to increase sales both these papers changed the content of their newspapers, adding more sensationalized stories and increasing the use of cartoons and drawings. In 1896, Pulitzer published a cartoon of his own called “the Yellow Kid”. Yellow kid was an overnight success. Pulitzer built “The New York World” in to the highest circulating and most popular newspaper in New York. The mix of solid news coverage with sensationalism made for a heady mix and the citizens of New York lapped it up.

Eventually Randolf managed to attract many of Pulitzer’s staff to his paper. Their rivalry only served to stoke the competition. The news was largely over-dramatized and altered so that it would evoke strong interest from the public. The term “Yellow Kid” became synonymous with sensationalized stories that discredited the stories of other papers.

Yellow journalism is now over hundred years old. Back then it emphasized on sex, violence and crime sprinkled liberally with emotionalism, inaccuracies and exaggerations. Most journalists claim that Yellow journalism has now been replaced with informed, intelligent and unbiased reporting. They claim that the Yellow Kid is now dead. But critics beg to differ. Their views are amply supported by the news articles we see in papers these days and the news that is broadcasted to us throughout the day. It is increasingly apparent today that yellow journalism sells.

Sex and violence are the most important topics after money. Television has taken it a step further. The line between news and entertainment is so distorted, one can hardly tell the difference anymore.

The newspapers carry articles based on the claims of unnamed sources that are given an opportunity to express...
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