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Yellow Journalism Essay

1153 words - 5 pages

Yellow journalism follows the act of writing with a new representation of the truth. The term yellow journalism came from a new kind of writing presented in The New York World, run by Joseph Pulitzer and The New York Journal, run by William Randolph Hearst. The phrase began as “new journalism” and “nude journalism” then changed to “yellow-kid journalism” and later was shortened to just “yellow journalism” (The Yellow Kid). This kind of journalism created dramatic events to draw people into the story.
As newspaper’s grew in success and numbers, popularity for yellow journalism began in the 1890s during the Spanish-American War. Hearst and Pulitzer used “melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to ...view middle of the document...

It played into the time period in which the Kid was drawn (The Yellow Kid).
Hearst saw the success of Outcault’s comic, and recruited him to join the New York Journal, pulling him away from Pulitzer (U.S Diplomacy). When Outcault began drawing the Kid for Hearst and his comics began increasing in popularity, he realized where this Kid could really take him. One month before joining Heart’s team, he moved his copying right, stating, “His costume is always yellow, his ears are large, he has but two teeth and a bald head and is distinctly different from anything else” (The Yellow Kid).
Outcault’s move sparked an almost war between the journalists. “This battle over the Yellow Kid and a greater market share gave rise to the term yellow journalism” (U.S. Diplomacy). Activity spiked in the papers Hearst reduced the price of his paper to one cent and in return Pulitzer knocked down his own paper to one cent to compete (The Yellow Kid). Pulitzer tried to get Outcault back in an extreme bidding war between Hearst. Hearst won, but Pulitzer fired back by hiring a new cartoonist to draw the Kid. The battle began to “rise the term of yellow journalism” (U.S. Diplomacy).
Historians point out that the Spanish-American war may have been the first war driven by the press, marking the success of yellow journalism. The constant news about “sensational headlines and stories about Cuban affairs” fueled American’s need for updates (Yellow Journalism). Pulitzer and Hearst spent much of the war focusing in on Cuba. They used a creative use of “bold headlines and creative drawings of events” which in turn sold them many newspapers, even though, these stories and headlines were often stretching the actual truth (U.S. Diplomacy).
In 1898, “when a U.S. battleship, the Maine, sunk in Havana harbor” Hearst and Pulitzer, after several years of selling anti-Spanish papers, took the opportunity to exploit Cuba. The journalist put out reports the Cuba had a plot to sink the ship. This began a naval investigation about the explosion, which had actually come from a mine at the harbor, that later started up the war (U.S. Diplomacy).
With the rise of yellow journalism, people began to speculate that the journalists had actually started the war. Especially with Hearst often saying, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll provide the war!” However, the papers did...

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