From the arrival of the penny papers in the 1830s to the coming of radio news around 1930, the American newspaper celebrated its Golden Age and years of greatest influence on society. Born in response to a thirst for news in large eastern cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, the mood of the modern metropolitan papers eventually spread throughout the nation. Douglas tells the story of the great innovators of the American pressmen like Bennett, Greeley, Bryant, Dana, Pulitzer, Hearst, and Scripps. He details the development of the bond between newspapers and the citizens of a democratic republic and how the newspapers molded themselves into a distinctly American character to become an intimate part of daily life.
Technological developments in papermaking, typesetting, and printing, as well as the growth of advertising, gradually made possible huge metropolitan dailies with circulations in the hundreds of thousands. Soon journalism became a way of life for a host of publishers, editors, and reporters, including the early presence of a significant number of women. Eventually, feature sections arose, including comics, sports, puzzles, cartoons, advice columns, and sections for women and children. The hometown daily gave way to larger and impersonal newspaper chains in the early twentieth century. This comprehensive and lively account tells the story of how newspapers have influenced public opinion and how public demand has in turn affected the presentation of the news.
About the Author
GEORGE H. DOUGLAS is Professor of English at the University of Illinois. A Jersey native, his father was a long-time writer and editor at the Newark Evening News. As a boy Douglas was an inveterate visitor to the paper's city room and was awed by the roar of the rotary presses. He is the author of eleven books and many dozens of articles, mostly dealing with American literature and social history. Among his books are The Early Days of Radio Broadcasting, H. L. Mencken: Critic of American Life, All Aboard: The Railroad in American Life, Skyscraper Odyssey, and The Smart Magazines.
Table of Contents
Penny Papers: The Printed Word for Democratic Man
The Quest for a Real Newspaper
Giants of a New Age: James Gordon Bennett and Horace Greeley
Newspapers Move WestFerment in the South
The Civil WarThe Indispensability of News
Dana and the New York SunThe News Story as Art
Newspapers in the Gilded Age
Dangerous Crossroads: Pulitzer and Hearst
The Rise of the New York Times
Of Evenings, and Sundays, and Funnies, and Such
Newspaper Chains and Press Associations
Fantasy and Reality: The Newspaper Reporter
When the Women Marched in
The Newspaper Saga: From Our Town to Olympus
The Foreign Language Press
A Bright and Shining Moment