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Lecture 15

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Communication Studies
COMS 200
Alexandra Gibb

COMS 200 – February 11 th READING NOTES (Lecture notes to follow) The New Journalism – Michael Schudson  The emergence of reporting played off against the industrialization of the newspaper  In New York, most papers were direct descendants of the Penny Press  The World and The Journal represented “the new journalism” o They both chose to be entertaining  The Penny Press chose to be factual  When telling stories is taken to be the role of the newspaper, journalism has an “aesthetic” function  Election results, stock market value emphasize “the truth value of news”  Enjoyability and consummatory value is what is most important for most papers  News serves to create satisfying aesthetic experiences for readers to interpret their own lives and relate them to the nation they belong to  According to Mead: o Previous description of news (above) is the proper function of newspapers o Newspaper acts as a guide to living by selecting and framing facts  Alternative model o Newspaper is uniquely defined as a genre of literature to the extent that the facts it provides are unframed o “Pure” information o “Information” is a product of fully developed capitalism o “Understandable in itself” o Information is incompatible with story-telling  Alvin Gouldner o News is “decontextualized” communication o All is spelled out, nothing left to implicit or tacit understanding  Informational ideal in journalism associated with o 1 - Fairness o 2 - Objectivity o 3 - Scrupulous dispassion o Information newspapers are seen as more reliable Journalism as Entertainment: Joseph Pulitzer and The New York World  Turning point for St. Louis journalism o Morning Globe hired Joseph McCullagh as editor o He stressed news rather than opinion o Concentrated on local police, court, society, and street reporting  Pulitzer bought St. Louis Post and Dispatch o Publisher o Editor o Business manager o Paper became more audacious by promoting Democratic party o Carried statistics of trade from the Merchants’ Exchange, the produce markets, and the waterfront o Aims of paper: foster the development of St. Louis as a business center and as an attractive place to live o Pulitzer’s great innovation  Development of the newspaper crusade  Pulitzer bought the New York World o Increased circulation immensely o Pulitzer believed the success to be due to his editorial position o Sold advertising space at fixed prices  Pulitzer rationalized newspapers’ business practice and the relations between newspapers and advertisers o This rationalization helped the World adapt to the changes in the social organization of business  Biggest reason for the paper’s rapid circulation o Sensationalism  How extravagantly should news be displayed?  Sensationalism means self-advertisement  Everything, including news, should and could be advertising for newspapers  Printed more ads than any other paper  Self-advertisement o Anything about newspaper layout and policy o Designed to attract the eye o Illustrations  New York Daily Graphic o First American daily to use illustrations regularly o The fun of looking at pictures drove the Daily Graphic out of business  Self-advertisement: larger, darker headlines o Screaming headlines often used  Melville Stone: newspaper had 3 functions o Inform o Interpret o Entertain th  Sunday papers rare in early 19 century o Special Sunday editions with war news  Made it easier for papers to start making Sunday papers  Newspapers responded to the changing experience, perceptions, and aspirations of urban dwellers o Enlargement of the “entertainment” function o Expansion of the “use-paper” rather than the newspaper  tips for urban survival  Geographic mobility  daily round of movement from home to work and back again o Improved urban transportation o Movement of middle-class into the suburbs o Subways made mass suburban living possible o The poor lived in the center of the city, middle class lived farther out  Consequences of geographic mobility on newspapers o People were no longer responsible for driving  they could read on the bus o The World’s change to a sensational style  adaptation to the needs of commuters  Reduced page sizes  Bigger headlines  Use of pictures  Development of “lead” paragraph COMS 200 – Lecture 15 th February 11 – New Systems of Reportage  Penny Press o Early 19 century: start to see Penny Press. Before that, newspaper were expensive, targeted to people who could afford them  Political papers owned by political parties  Business pape
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