History of Journalism

How the news has been portrayed by media and consumed has changed over time. First, newspapers were the main source of news. Most early newspapers didn’t have pictures and were set up in blocks of small print, visually not very appealing. The main focus of these newspapers was business and politics. James Gordon Bennett was the first to introduce pictures and human interest stories to his newspaper “The New York Herald”. The pictures were extremely labor intensive. They had to be cut out by hand from wood and then rolled with ink to print to the paper requiring hours of work each week to complete. The pictures and human interest stories used by Bennett helped revolutionize the way stories are told. News became more localized and sensational and less about business and politics targeting a new market for newspapers, the common man.

As technology improved and advanced newspapers became cheaper and more accessible. In the 1900s newspapers began making money and became a commercial venture. However, new advances, such as radio networks, threatened the existence of newspapers. While the radio didn’t eliminate newspapers it showed journalists that in order to survive they would have to become innovative. The same thing happened when television broadcasting was introduced.

With each new medium the way news is portrayed changes. While a newspaper could tell you what happened, television broadcasting allowed you to see what was happening. This was evident in the case of the JFK assassination. While television news was still in its infancy Americans were able to see for the first time a president being assassinated. This connected and shocked the nation. Television added a new dimension to news because it allowed citizens to see firsthand things that earlier mediums couldn’t provide. 

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