Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Rise of Journalism

In the third chapter of Paul Starr-America's first Information Revolution, Starr points out the beginning stages of the Journalism Revolution and the ways in which it shaped American politics and society. he begins by using an example of Washington Irvings
Rip Van Winkle. In this book a story is told about how Rip Van Winkle is overwhelmed by the site of the people being so active in the politics in this post American Revolution society.

"There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it.....He had arrived in
the midst of an election". "The orator bustled up to him.....inquired'on which side he voted?...Rip stared in vacant stupidity".
This example by Starr, gave me a chance to understand the true significance that the American Revolution had on American society and the "demand" that would be put on Journalism. Journalism would be needed to spread the news in a "unbias" way. Starr also points out how the founding fathers used print media as a critical "weapon".

"Jefferson wrote Madison in 1793, urging Hamilton to critisize him in
print...take up your pen, select the most striking heresies, and cut him to
pieces in the face of the public".
I feel this was Starrs way of showing how the newspaper was a very popular and invaluable entity in American society and it would be a forum to critisize those who you opposed/supported in the "face of the people and public". This is still true to this day. Mediums such as newspapers have daily editorials that give citizens a chance to voice thier opinions and beliefs contrary to the writer/editor/paper's that sometimes cover a one sided argument. In the world of contemparary Journalism, the government has their hand on what is to be published (not to the extreme, free speech still exist in Journalism, but there are limits). Seeing how alot of these papers and broadcast companies are owned by conglomerits which are to the right.


At 12:17 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post. You have been reading. You need to use spell-check and proof-read before publishing.

You really have two posts here: The first is about the Rip Van Winkle quotation as an example of the effect of the American Revolution on the mass media; the second is about how newspapers became a political weapon for different factions. Both are important. Next time choose one and develop that point and save the rest for another post.


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