Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Yellow Journalism

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Yellow Journalism

I read The Growth and Expansion of Public Opinion by E.L. Godkin. "Newspapers are mad to sell" is a quote from the article and I agree with that. What I disagree with is the exaggeration of the truth to sell newspapers. I think newspapers need to be truthful because people read them believing that they are getting the truth. Newspapers have a responsibility to their readers to be honest because for a lot of them, it is the only source of information that they have. If newspapers can not be exciting and entertaining without being deceitful then maybe entertainment should be saved for other outlets.
"What makes it most marketable is that it is probable and agreeable, though
disagreeable news sells nearly as well. In the tumult of a great war, when the
rules of evidence are suspended by passion or anxiety, invention, too, is easy,
and has its velue, and is pretty sure never to be punished."
The worst part of telling lies is that there is no punishment for the lies created by the newspapers which makes it easier for them to tell them. They can say anything to make a buck and I don't think that is right.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good quote and a good post.

During wartime the need for quick reports leads to mistakes and sometimes inventions. The speed of the news cycle during war means that the inaccuracies increase, often without penalty. "Lies" may not so common but ommissions and mistakes are very common in the fog of war. Part of that has to do with the business of the media and part of that has to do with the nature of war and the real obstacles to covering a war in real time.

2/25/2007 10:19 PM  

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