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Chapter 8

COM 101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Yellow Journalism, Investigative Journalism, Creative Nonfiction

Course Code
COM 101

of 2
Professor David Rubin
COM 107 (Monday and Wednesdays)
Chapter Vocab
Chapter 8
partisan press: political papers that generally pushed the plan of the particular political group that
subsidized the paper.
penny papers: cheap, tabloid-style newspapers that began relying increasingly on daily street sales of
individual copies
human-interest stories: news accounts that focus on the daily trials and triumphs of the human
condition, often featuring ordinary individuals facing extraordinary challenges
wire services: began as commercial organizations that relayed news stories and information around the
country and the world using telegraph lines and, later, radio waves and digital transmissions. The news
wire companies enabled news to travel rapidly from coast to coast and set the stage for modern journalism
yellow journalism: emphasized profitable papers that carried exciting human-interest stories, crime
news, large headlines, and more readable copy.
featured two major developments
first was the emphasis on overly dramatic or sensational stories about crimes, celebrities, disasters,
scandals, and intrigue
second, and sometimes forgotten, were early in-depth “detective” stories—the legacy for twentieth-
century investigative journalism: news reports that hunt out and expose corrpution, particularly in
business and governent
reporting during this yellow journalism period increasingly became a crusading force for common
people, with the press assuming a watchdog role on their behalf
objective journalism: distinguishes factual reports from opinion columns, modern reporters strive to
maintain a neutral attitude toward the issue or event they cover; they also search out competing points of
view among the sources for a story
inverted-pyramid style: the story form for packaging and presenting this kind of reporting (objective
often stripped of adverts and adjectives, they answer who, what, when, where, and less frequently why
or how
served as an efficient way to arrange a timely story
interpretive journalism: aims to explain key issues or events and place them in a broader historical or
social context
Walter Lippmann’s 3 press responsibilities: 1) to make a current record 2) to make a running analysis
of it 3) on the basis of both, to suggest plans
literary journalism or “new journalism”: adapted fictional techniques, such as descriptive details and
settings and extensive character dialogue, to nonfiction material and in-depth reporting
consensus-oriented journalism: carrying articles on local schools, social events, town government,
property crimes, and zoning issues
have a small advertising base
conflict-oriented journalism: front-page news is often defined primarily as events, issues, or experiences
that deviate from social norms
journalists see their role not merely as neutral fact-gatherers but also as observers who monitor their
city’s institutions and problems
often maintain an adversarial relationship with local politicans and public officials
offer competing perspectives on such issues as education, government, poverty, crime, and the economy
their publishers, editors, or reporters avoid playing major, overt roles in community politics
underground press: questioned mainstream political policies and conventional values, often voicing
radical opinions
newshole: space not taken up by ads
feature syndicates: operated historically as commercial outlets that contracted with newspapers to
provide work from the nation’s best political writers, editorial cartoonists, comic-strip artists, and self-
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help columnists. These companies served as brokers, distributing horoscopes and crossword puzzles as
well as the political columns and comic strips that appealed to a wide audience
newspaper chain: a company that owns several papers throughout the country
joint operating agreement (JOA): two competing papers keep separate news divisions while merging
business and production operations for a period of years
paywall: charging a fee for online access to news content
citizen journalism (or citizen media): refers to people—activist amateurs and concerned citizens, not
professional journalists—who use the Internet and blogs to disseminate news and information
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