Thursday, March 12, 2009

The "Picture" Paper

The New York Daily Graphic had become the first fully illustrated paper in 1873. The paper was more or less used solely for entertainment purposes because it offered little text. Through the paper, people for the first time, were able to see things that were factual than leave the rest up to the imagination. The use of illustrations led to the use of political and economic cartoons used in later publications. This paper also provided a way to self advertise small businesses and campaigns that were happening in local areas.
But the paper was not getting a great reputation because of all the pictures that bombarded the paper. And by 1889, the paper was driven out of business by more "justifying" publications.

Labels: , ,


It may seem logical to assume that the rise of national magazines and the metropolitan press brought about, or reflected, a corresponding eclipse of local and rural publications. But in fact, as national-brand advertising increased, advertising agencies placed a considerable amount of it in small town papers, strenghthening them financially. In addition, as in the early republic, postal policy supported and subsidized a decentralized press. In the mid-1890's, Congress approved the introduction of free rural delivery-home delivery along rural postal routes-which meant under existing rules, that small town papers could be sent postage-free to rural subscribers within the country.
The introduction of the RFD starting in 1896 produced a boom in rural newspaper circulation and for many farmers meant the beginning of daily rather than weekly newspaper reading.

Chapter 7

The 19Th century brought about a lot of changes. One big of the biggest changes is the porno industry and even today its till is the biggest industry. Another big impact was the rise of publication and how printing before one of the biggest form of getting information out to the public. This era make a way for many reader and this give many readers an inside on whats going on in society and around the world. This is very important. This is the one of few ways that information is put out there to the public.

Free Speech

The definition freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation. In the 20th century, freedom of speech is not absolute. Moral censorship imposed huge limits on media such as literature, theater, visual arts and public discussion. Moral censorship, is the removal of materials that censor deems, or thinks, to be obscene or otherwise morally questionable. Anything that was related to sex was banned. This cause a huge stir up, because Americans thought they had freedom of speech. Before World War I, the first amendment was barely used in court but after the war, government started to crackdown on certain groups who was in the movement of wider freedom of expression.

Transformation of Media

From scribes handwriting books and newsletters to the instant information age that we live in today, the changes are almost unimaginable. Today's media is such a staple of a society that wants to know what happened even before it happened. If there isn't a good video posted on youtube within an hour of an incident, there is a cyber uproar of malicious blogs and slanderous accusations against various news organizations that is completely unwarranted. It's somewhat distressing to find out that 95% of our media is owned by just 5 companies. I feel that we get slanted versions of stories depending on Disney's, for instance, personal interests. If a guy in a Mickey Mouse costume went on a killing spree, the costume might just be left out of the article, until the inevitable video is posted on youtube that is and the backpedaling soon ensues. As i said previously, I am new to this whole blogging thing but it's good to know that everybody has an outlet to get express themselves and give, for the most part, neutral and unsided opinions on whatever is on their mind that day.

"The World's Most Influencial Newspaper"

When you think of the New York Times, you probably think one of the largest and most popular and distributed newspapers in the world. Well guess what; you're right. What you probably don't think about is how the Times got to be so big and popular. In 1911, newspaper critic Will Irwin wrote "that the Times came 'the nearest of any newspaper to presenting a truthful picture of life in New York and the world at large.'" This was one of the main reasons the paper became so popular; it presented the news to the public without any "padding" or exposure of "private matters". The Times "advertised itself with the slogan, 'It does not soil the breakfast cloth'", meaning when people read the paper every morning, it wasn't an unpleasant experience for them. They were reading the truth about life in the city and around the world, with no "sugar coating" added to it. Publisher Adolph Ochs "believed that decency meant dollars". It was because of this decency that the Times quickly became one of the most popular and subscribed to newspapers in New York, and eventually the world, and has in turn made it the newspaper "giant" that it is today.

Schudson, Michael. "The New Journalism". p 142-144

Penny Press

With the diversity of cultures that began to arise in the 19th century came a new Melting Pot. This created more want for media that interested other minorities such as blacks and Irish folks at the time. The penny press catered to the mass middle class rising, costing much less than regular papers. These papers were seen as protecting the liberty and social equality of citizens.

Around the 1830's the penny press was able to have a weekly circulation of about 50,000 papers do to the overflow in New York of people from England. 3 papers were actually in circulation: The Sun, The New York Herald, and The New York Tribune. Most people were literate by this time and that is why the Press was able to survive with 3 papers in such a small area.

Newspapers Gave the Ability For The Public To Achieve Knowledge~

In chapter seven Starr discusses the topic of the diversity in daily journalism. He explains that there are many misleading and or confusing ideas that individuals have on journalism. For instance "information and entertainment produced for a large audience are necessarily less diverse than media produced on a smaller scale" (Starr 251). From 1870 to the first World War he or she would find a greater diversity of expressions regardless of any moral censorship and the rise in the mass public. Like Europe, America cut the cost of print during the antebellum era. This was made possible because of the deliberate public choices and in addition to the efficient means of production and distribution. If an individual had to choose one institution that dominated the public sphere during this time it would be the daily newspaper. The number of daily newspapers increased from 574 to 2,226. By the end of the century the largest newspaper had more than half a million readers. Professor Mattson has stressed that the importance for men and women was to receive and obtain knowledge. The only way that knowledge could be achieved was through reading and being informed about the news. Furthermore, technology also played a major role in cutting the prices for newspapers. This meaning anyone could afford to stay up to date with the news of the world. I believe this is a major reason for the success of our country.By giving the poor the ability to receive knowledge it gives the opportunity to excel and achieve success.

chapter 7

I beleive that everything you do has a consequence or an effect, could be good or bad. This is exactly why in both Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, the growth of markets and industry sparked up countermovements of protest, reform, and public regulation. They all attempted to control the unsettling effects of economic upheaval. Everyone doesnt agree on everything because everyone is different. So the outcome from the growth of markets did not surprise me, but what did surprise me is the fact that immigration to theUnited States was limited. I guess there was too much goin on at the time, but then there was increase after the civil war. That was the part in this chapter that stood out to me the most and thats because I can relate to the topic of immigration.

Free Speech and the Comstock Laws

The crusade that was carried out by Anthony Comstock against what he saw as the immoral ongoings that were spreading throughout the United States had far reaching effects outside just the prosecution of pornographers and adult bookstores. After Comstock was deputized as a special agent of the Postal Office, he pretty much had card blanche' to go after any and everyone who's actions did not match well with his own moral compass. He used his position and the passing of the Act for the Suppression of Trade in..... to go after people who published material about abortion or contraception, such as Margret Sanger, as well as people who wanted to publish their ideas about free love. His actions in my opinion greatly encroached on their free speech First Amendment rights. The ability to speak one's mind without fear of prosecution is one of the core values that America was founded on, so the fact that the law was continually upheld by the judicial system all the way up to the 1960's is interesting to me. Comstock in effect used his power to censor and intimidate people into at least publicly going with his moral system. Towards the latter part of his 40 year service as a special agent public opinion did begin to turn against him based on the matter of free speech, the affect of the Comstock Laws continue to be felt to this day in several forms such as regulation of obscenities by the FCC for example.

Booming 1920's

"In accounts of the rise of the modern liberal state in America, the 1920s generally appear only as a historical parenthesis between the progressive era and the New Deal. No question the decade saw relatively little extension of government social programs and economic regulation. But if we take civil liberties and the rules governing the public sphere to be integral features of the liberal state, the twenties were a crucial decade, for it was then that the courts, and to some extent Congress, began to develop a more protective legal framework for free speech"(286). The 1920s was an underrated force that aided in the beginning of a positive in civil liberties and freedom of speech for people. The 1920s was a big turning point for people and intellectual advancement and the out pour of urban culture.

Who would of thought that a bunch of papers with words on it would be so important and historical till this day. The New York Times was quoted by Critic Will Irvin saying it was the "Nearest of any newspaper to presenting a truthful picture of life in New York and the World at large." The New York Times in the late 1800's was viewed as being some sort of bait for its clientele. George Jones who was the editor of the paper from 1869 to 1891 used many campaigns in order to attract more readers. It was noted that reading the paper as college students and teachers was a stamp of respectability. As time moved into the 1900's there really wasn't any competition being that the Times had the highest circulation of any news paper in the city. Even today the times is one if not the most sold newspapers. Of course throughout the years names such as Newsday, The New York Post and other large names cause a competition of selling frenzies. Being how historical the New York Times is, is what makes it the most famous.

First Amendment

"It was during the progressive era, particularly between 1910 and 1917 that a free speech movement began to stir and writers and artists in rebellion against genteel culture discovered a common cause with radical dissenters on the left in the battle against censorship. A new Generation of young intellectuals, convinced that America's old Puritan "Hypocrisy stood in the way of honest understanding and full enjoyment of life, sought to open up discussion of sex, birth control, and forbidden subjects" (Starr pg 268). This quote in chapter 8 shows the fear that many Americans felt about freedom of speech. America was a country that lived by censorship. Censorship put rules and regulations on society by the government. The first amendment helped enforce freedom of speech. Without this Amendment society as well as the mass media would not be the same.

Great Transformations

Chapter 7 talks about Great Transformations in early Mass Media, but one of biggest transformations were the "growth of markets all attempting to control the unsettling effects of economic upheaval." Also during the nineteenth immigration came big into play where they formed great cultural life in southern and eastern Europe. African Americans were also migrating to the northern area and mid western cities which brought about urban culture "affecting all industrial societies". After the war, the establishment of the mass media as central social institutions in both Europe and North America". What shook the ninetieth century besides theater, music, newspaper, communications it "was a growing public precupation with obscenity or as we now call it pornography". As of today in the twenty 1st century i think porn is one biggest attraction in media because like they say sex sells.

The Growth of Magazines..

Walk around anywhere in New York City, or any major city for that fact and you will stumble upon your fair share of magazine and newspaper stands. These stands have them all, the fashion magazines, the business magazines, the list goes on and on. Many people however don't realize where magazines were originated or even the history behind their favorite ones.

Magazines had a burst of popularity due to the use of cheap print and of the great transformations of the nineteenth century. even though these magazines were not the first,according to Starr " Although there had been some cheap magazines in the early 1800's , they had been short-lived failures" ( Starr p. 260). These magazines of the 1800's , mostly the major national ones were " relatively expensive at 35 cents a copy and had a limited readership concentrated in the more comfortable and conservative classes, in contrast to the newspapers' lower prices and more popular audience" ( Starr p.260). Due to these factors, the magazines died out too quickly before they had time to become popular.

According to Starr in 1885, prices were dropping on these magazines and he claims that some were down to 20 or 25 cents a copy, a big improvement from the 35 cent a copy price of the past. Prices dropped even more drastically in the 1890's to a dime or even a nickel.

The new published magazines were not only lower in price, but were of a better quality. Advances in printing as well as the invention of the photographs and other more advanced techniques helped to make the magazine more popular,, thus allowing it to better circulate throughout the country. Middle class citizens, who made up a large part of the population were now able to purchase and read these magazines. Advances in advertising and government policy regarding magazines also helped to allow these magazines to take of with great success. Now here is something to think about next time you stop to pick up a copy of your favorite periodical!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger first established the American Birth Control League, later this became Planned Parenthood. In 1912, Sanger, passing out a booklet, Family Limitation to women, risked jail by opposing the Comstock Act of 1873. “But because the federal and state Comstock laws treated information about contraceptives as a form of obscenity, she faced an indictment even for writing about the subject, and her campaign became part of the embryonic movement for free speech.” Margaret started The Women Rebel in 1914, a newsletter, with the saying “No Gods and No Masters”. This newsletter pushed contraception. She was put in court in 1914, for disobeying US postal obscenity laws. Sanger hid in England and avoided bail.

Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media, pg. 269

She felt that it was up to the woman when she wanted to have a child. This would be in her best interest and a more healthy decision for her physically and emotionally. There was one time when William Sanger was jailed for thirty days because he handed out his wife’s pamphlet called Family Limitations. It was considered to be obscene. Margaret many times defended free speech and was arrested around eight times for expressing her views.


Pornograpy vs Art

In the 18th century pornography was frowned upon. No picture, letter or brochure could have naked people on them. The Comstock Act which was established in 1873 said that, it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, and/or lascivious" materials through the mail, including contraceptive devices and information.(found on wikipedia). People didn't have a way to express themselves freely like they do today. But it's perfectly fine if you go to museum and look at naked people because then that is considered art. To me its all the same. Whether someone painted it or photographed it, its all some sort of art form. I believe that if a person chooses to be reveal themselves in any shape, way or form that is their problem and the government should not have any input about it. In today's society it is accepted, with a few restrictions and that is how it should be.

Anthony Comstock & The Comstock Act

In the early 1870’s a social crusader, Anthony Comstock lead the anti-obscenity movement in the United States. He lived in New York City and thought it was a den filled with sinners. He felt that the reason was because people were exposed to lewd material and pornography. This material according to him was found in books sold in Manhattan. He believed that no one should be able to get contraceptives because that prompted lust in the individual or those women should be allowed to have abortions.

Three years later, a twenty-seven-year-old dry-goods clerk named Anthony Comstock sought on his own initiative to enforce the YMCA-sponsored law against a stationer who sold dirty books

Comstock would expose bookstores that were selling what he determined to be erotic material. He would seek to enforce on his own a law established in 1868 that said that the spread of obscenity was a determent to single men living in boarding houses. This made him a hero in the eyes of the New York Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). He would appeal to the YMCAS for support in his fight of obscene material. His first test case came when he wanted to stop the distribution of a book by Victoria Woodhull that described an affair between a minister and one of his parishioners. He was able to make the case that this book was obscene and that since it was since it was using the U.S. mail as a means of distribution and that it violated an 1864. He was successful and won this case.

These successes lead the YMCA to making him the secretary of their group, a very powerful position. Comstock used this new power to lobby for stricter obscenity rules and laws and in 1873 the Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use law was passed. This law was then referred to as the Comstock Act. Comstock was made a special agent of the Post Office and over the next 40 years acted as the governments censor claiming to have destroyed over 160 tons of obscene literature.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Who makes a crime wave? The press makes a crime wave!

The article I make a crime wave is about how a crime wave was started in the early 20th century not by an actual increase in crime but about the increase of reports of crimes. The writer of this story was listening to crimes stories in the basement of a police headquarters when he heard this tale. It is a humorous story about how two thieves robbed a house with the help of a pollice officer. Two men were going to "clean" this house that was closed for the summer when they see a cop at the end of the street, this doesnt stop the robbery instead they piled up all valuables in the house along with bigger items to make it look like a move and not a robbery, when the officer spproached them about blocking the sidewalk they toold him they got everything out of the house and asked for the officers help, and he did. This caught the attention of the writer and he wrote about this incident in the news the next day. The story created such a buzz that other papers wrote about interesting crimes and it became a contest of who could get the most stories.

As time went on , concerns arised about this increasing "crime wave" in New York, it was such a concern that President TR came and spoke about it and attempted to fix it.

Initially the police used a system of regulation and control, meaning that cops would know about robberies and about criminal activity, and would only protect the people with "pull, power, or prestige" everyone else was fair game. New Yorkers were told back then to report a robery to the police and not the press because the press could alert the thieves, but if you reported the crime to both the police and the press you would have a much greater chance of success because "detectives work hardest on a case that is in the papers." When TR got involved he was told that there wasn't a "crime wave" there was simply the increase in stories related to crime, so when the stories decreased so did the crime wave.

Basically, this whole article is about how the press can create a crime wave just by reporting, and, how the press can have an impact on things such as law enforcement.