Yellow journalism was a type of newspaper reporting that placed an emphasis on sensationalism above facts. During its peak in the late nineteenth century, it was one of several forces that pushed the United States and Spain into war in Cuba and the Philippines, resulting in the United States' conquest of foreign territory. It has been argued that without yellow journalism, President William McKinley might have avoided war with Spain.
Yellow journalism got its name because of the use of yellow paper to produce newspapers that were easy to read and sell. The term "yellow" here does not mean that the papers are old or stained with ink, but rather that they are emblazoned with bright, sunny colors. Newspaper publishers used to make their products look more appealing by printing them on colorful paper. Today, most newspapers are printed on black ink on white paper, although this is beginning to change again.
The first American newspaper to use exclusively colored paper was the New York Tribune, which began publishing in 1846. Before then, both Americans and Europeans published newspapers that used color in addition to black and white. In fact, Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the idea of coloring newspaper pages back in 1770 when he suggested that the Post Office provide red, blue, and green ink for letters.
Jefferson's proposal never took off because red, blue, and green weren't common colors at the time.
The name arose from the struggle for the New York City newspaper market between two prominent newspaper proprietors, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Like many other American newspapers at the time, The New York World used this type of reporting to attract readers.
An informed public is what makes a free society work, especially in times of conflict or crisis. Without accurate information about what is happening in our world, citizens cannot make fully informed decisions about how they should vote, who they should hire for government positions, or whether or not they should support or oppose events such as wars or protests.
Social media have had an impact on news coverage through its ability to spread news stories rapidly across a wide audience. Social media have also changed how journalists report stories. In the past, reporters would spend months or years building relationships with sources who could provide them with important information about what was going on in the world. With social media, people share news stories instantly, which means journalists don't have time to build these relationships.
Yellow journalism is the use of gruesome features and sensationalized news in newspaper printing in order to attract readers and improve circulation. The term was coined in the 1890s to characterize the techniques used in the fierce rivalry between two New York City newspapers, the World and the Journal. These papers were among the first in the United States to use this type of advertising.
These papers relied on lurid details of crime and violence to attract attention from their audience of urban immigrants who were attracted to these publications because of their emphasis on news over opinion. They were similar to today's tabloid newspapers in that they often included large amounts of gossip, sports coverage, and other light material. However, these early tabloids also contained extensive reporting on crimes that had been committed or incidents that might occur at any time and place. This allowed them to cover a wide variety of topics that would not have been possible with more formal journalistic methods.
The use of yellow journalism came under fire from critics who believed that it went beyond what was acceptable in professional journalism. Some journalists argued that stories with no basis in fact or evidence should not be published in order to make money. Others complained that the use of misleading pictures and headline styles made it easy for readers to believe anything they wanted to about those involved in crime or other unpleasant events.
However, others saw value in this type of journalism because of its ability to draw attention to serious issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.