Discovering The News: A Social History Of American by Michael Schudson

By Michael Schudson

This instructive and interesting social background of yankee newspapers indicates that the very suggestion of neutral, goal “news” was once the social fabricated from the democratization of political, monetary, and social lifestyles within the 19th century. Professor Schudson analyzes the shifts in reportorial sort through the years and explains why the assumption between reporters and readers alike that newspapers needs to be goal nonetheless lives on.

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Occasionally, there were "hoax- original plates of type. T h i s was a major step forward i n e s » _ s t o r i e s of pure fiction presented as news—as there had been i n the 1830s. Still, part of the delight of the hoax was its printing technology; w i t h i n four months the Herald and then the Times adopted stereotyping. T h e familiar pattern of the revelation as a literary invention. " M a k i n g news"—promot- 1830s and 1840s was repeated: the penny papers set the pace ing or producing events one could then legitimately claim to of American journalism.

Most excellent traits, I thought, but not as easy to put into execution as comfortable I publishers and managing editors might suppose. N JOURNALISM AS A VOCATION AFTER I f facts could not be championed to the exclusion of imaginative embellishment, neither could they be supported wholeheartedly to the exclusion of opinion. Here, of course, as is evident i n the advice of editors to their young reporters, there was i n principle a more rigid distinction: news and opinion should be kept apart. But even this distinction was not absolute.

N o r was realism simply the inevitable consequence of the growing popularity of science. "Science" had long been a T h i s changing concept of what science is, rather than simply the growing popularity of science, contributed to the rise of realism. But this begs a question: while science surely has some internal logic, i t is also clearly shaped by social circumstances. W h a t social circumstances promoted a factgathering and fact-connecting science which took human society as its subject?

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