Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Penny Papers

The Penny Press was a paper that was sold to the common man in the 1800’s for one cent. It developed because the working man could not afford the six cent papers that were being sold at that time to the upper class and its creators saw a large untapped market to go after. This low price made the news affordable and available to everyone.

As more and more people read the news the news itself and its content became very important. This had an effect on journalism and forced it to become more independent in how a journalist presented the news they reported on. The Penny Press and its journalists focused on local content and used police reports and sensational stories to fill up the space. It was this type of news that the average citizen clamored for and it was this type of news that sold papers and increased circulation.

In their quest for circulation, they became the first papers in the Unites States to publish extensive coverage of local news and to turn news itself into entertainment”

In order to keep the cost down to a penny these papers sought advertising, daily sales, subscriptions and relied decreased production costs as a means to increase circulation. During this time many papers sprang up. One of the most famous penny papers of this time was the New York Sun owned by Benjamin H. Day.

The development of the Penny Press started the revolution in the news industry from which we are still benefiting today.


At 11:59 AM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. What is the source of your quotation? Also your link is dead.

How did these penny press papers reflect changes in American society? What were the new demands for information in these growing towns and cities during the industrial revolution and the rise of a market society?


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