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Yellow journalism, or yellow press , refers to an unethical, irresponsible brand of journalism given to hoaxes, altered photographs, screaming headlines, scoops , frauds, and endless promotions of the newspapers themselves. This term was first used in the 1890 s to describe the competition between two rival New York City newspapers, the World, and the Journal. In 1883, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the New York-based newspaper, the World. With its vivid, sensational reporting and excellent crusades against political corruption and social injustice, Pulitzer made the World, the largest newspaper circulation in the country. One of his most famous staff writers was Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cockrane). Bly was best known for her stunt stories. An example of one of her stunts was when she pretended to be insane and committed herself to the New York Blackwell Island Asylum. When she was released after ten days, she wrote a story exposing the asylum s poor conditions. The story sparked reform from all around the country! Her most famous story, however, included her trip around the world. During that time period, Jules Verne wrote Around the World in Eighty Days ; Bly was inspired to do it in less time. Her mission was accomplished in 72 days! She captured readers attentions by writing daily about her adventures.In 1895, however, William Randolph Hearst, the son of a California mining tycoon, challenged Pulitzer s superiority, when he bought the Journal. Previous to his relocation to New York, Hearst owned the widely popular newspaper, Examiner, back in San Francisco. Hoping to duplicate the Examiner s success with the Journal, Hearst intended to surpass his competitors in sensationalism, crusades, and Sunday features. One of the Journal s more notable headlines, published in 1898, was when they provoked a quarrel between the U.S. and Spain. In 1895, when Cuba began to seek independence from Spain, the World and the Journal whipped up a war climate in support of the Cuban nationalists and tried to lure the U.S. into the conflict. An example of this rivalry, between the newspapers, is of the story of a Journal reporter stationed in Cuba. He had cabled Hearst that there was no war and that he would be coming home. Hearst is said to have wired back: Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I ll furnish the war. (pg. 11, Ferguson, Patten) When the battleship USS Maine blew up in the Havana harbor in 1898, the Journal published this: Congress demanded that Spain leave the island, and when they refused, the Spanish-American War ensued. Hearst was so determined to subdue his rivals, that he had the audacity to hire some of Pulitzer s staff away from the World, in addition to some of his San Francisco staff. Hearst tried to entice the World s cartoonist, Richard F. Outcault, into drawing his immensely popular cartoon, The Yellow Kid , for the Sunday Journal, but when Outcault declined, Hearst hired George B. Luks instead. The two rival cartoons instigated so much attention that the competition between the two newspapers became to be known as yellow journalism . As their competition became more renowned, the papers intrigued more people, thus increasing circulation. The yellow press was more concerned with selling newspapers, than the matter of the people s welfare. Today, yellow journalism is still in publication, but more commonly known as tabloids. The Pulitzer name continues to live on through the Pulitzer Prize # and some distinguished newspapers. The Hearst chain of newspapers is much smaller now, than at its peak, with 42 dailies. Some Hearst publications include teenybopper# magazines such as Bop and BB (Big Bopper). Also, the Hearst Foundation was created for the sole purpose of journalism education, as ironic as that sounds. The foundation has made valuable contributions through its news writing and photography contests for journalism school undergraduates. The end of ye

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