View the significant individuals who influenced the development of the newspaper.
Created by beckyellisohsu on Nov 20, 2009
Last updated: 03/03/10 at 10:29 PM
Tags: newspaper journalism Benjamin Franklin Pulitzer
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William Randolph Hearst (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper magnate and leading newspaper publisher. Hearst was born in San Francisco, California, to millionaire mining engineer George Hearst and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World which led to the creation of yellow journalism — sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.
Joseph Pulitzer was a Hungarian-American publisher who established after his death the Pulitzer Prizes. He also helped to origniate yellow journalism along with his rival William Randolph Hearst.
In 1872, Pulitzer purchased the Post for $3,000, and then sold his stake in the paper for a profit in 1873. Then, in 1879, he bought the St. Louis Dispatch, and the St. Louis Post and merged the two papers, which became the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which remains St. Louis' daily newspaper. It was at the Post-Dispatch that Pulitzer developed his role as a champion of the common man with exposés and a hard-hitting populist approach. He soon was competitive with William Hearst.
In 1883, Pulitzer, by then a wealthy man, purchased the New York World, a newspaper that had been losing $40,000 a year, for $346,000 from Jay Gould. Pulitzer shifted its focus to human-interest stories, scandal, and sensationalism. In 1885, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but resigned after a few months' service. In 1887, he recruited the famous investigative journalist Nellie Bly. In 1895 the World introduced the immensely popular The Yellow Kid comic by Richard F. Outcault, the first newspaper comic printed with color. Under Pulitzer's leadership circulation grew from 15,000 to 600,000, making it the largest newspaper in the country
A fictionalized version of Joseph Pulitzer is portrayed by Robert Duvall in the 1992 Disney film musical, Newsies. He is the main antagonist of that film.
Ottmar Mergenthaler (May 11, 1854 – October 28, 1899) was a German inventor, who has been called a second Gutenberg because of his invention of a machine that could easily and quickly set movable type. This machine revolutionized the art of printing. Before Mergenthaler's invention of the linotype in 1884, no newspaper in the world had more than eight pages.
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, born John Rowlands (28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904), was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Stanley is often remembered for the words uttered to Livingstone upon finding him: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" He is considered to be the first investigative journalist. Following the Civil War, Stanley began a career as a journalist. As part of this new career, Stanley organised an expedition to the Ottoman Empire that ended catastrophically when Stanley was imprisoned. He eventually talked his way out of jail and even received restitution for damaged expedition equipment. This early expedition may have formed the foundation for his eventual exploration of the Congo region of Africa. Stanley travelled to Zanzibar in March 1871 and outfitted an expedition with the best of everything, requiring no fewer than 200 porters. This 700-mile expedition through the tropical forest became a nightmare. His thoroughbred stallion died within a few days after a bite from a Tsetse fly, many of his carriers deserted and the rest were decimated by tropical diseases. To keep the expedition going, he had to take stern measures, including flogging deserters. Stanley found Livingstone on 10 November 1871, in Ujiji near Lake Tanganyika in present-day Tanzania, and may have greeted him with the now famous, Dr Livingstone, I presume?. This famous phrase may be a fabrication, as Stanley tore out of his diary the pages relating to the encounter.
Charles Anderson Dana became the editor and part-owner of the The Sun (New York) in 1868, and remained in control of it until his death. For two decades after Dana became editor, the New York Sun was a newspaperman’s newspaper, much admired and imitated. It lived up to its claim that its news was “the freshest and sprightliest current,” and it specialized in the “human interest story,” for which Dana hired bright young men, many fresh from college. Editorially the paper was lively and independent but notoriously inconsistent.
Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) was an American editor of a leading newspaper, a founder of the Liberal Republican Party, a reformer, and a politician. His New York Tribune was America's most influential newspaper from the 1840s to the 1870s and "established Greeley's reputation as the greatest editor of his day." Greeley prided himself in taking radical positions on all sorts of social issues; few readers followed his suggestions. Utopia fascinated him. His journal had Karl Marx (as well as Friedrich Engels) as European correspondent in the early 1850s (although most of his views sharply contrasted with the ones promoted by marxism). He promoted all sorts of agrarian reforms, including homestead laws. A champion of the working man, he attacked monopolies of all sorts and rejected land grants to railroads. Industry would make everyone rich, he insisted, as he promoted high tariffs. He supported vegetarianism, opposed liquor and paid serious attention to any "-ism" anyone proposed. What made the ‘’Tribune’‘ such a success were the extensive news stories, very well written by brilliant reporters, together with feature articles by fine writers. He was an excellent judge of newsworthiness and quality of reporting. His editorials and news reports explaining the policies and candidates of the Whig Party were reprinted and discussed throughout the country. Many small newspapers relied heavily on the reporting and editorials of the Tribune.
James Gordon Bennett (1 September 1795 – 1 June 1872) was the founder, editor and publisher of the New York Herald and a major figure in the history of American newspapers. Born to a poor farmer in Newmill, Scotland, Bennett emigrated to Nova Scotia, where he taught bookkeeping, then to Portland, Maine. He was in Boston by January 1820. He worked as a proofreader and bookseller before the Charleston Courier hired him to translate Spanish news reports. He moved to New York City in 1823 where he worked as a freelance paper writer and editorial assistant. In May 1835, Bennett began the Herald after years of failing to start a paper. In April 1836, it shocked readers with front–page coverage of the murder of prostitute Helen Jewett; Bennett conducted the first-ever newspaper interview for it. The Herald initiated a cash–in–advance policy for advertisers, which became the industry standard. Bennett was also at the forefront of using the latest technology to gather and report the news, and added illustrations produced from woodcuts.
At the age of twelve, Ben Franklin first began to learn the business of printing the truth. His older brother James had set up a printing office in Boston and Ben learned quickly as an apprentice. By the time Ben was seventeen, he was a fully skilled printer able to work in any print shop. With this skill, Ben was able to leave Boston and find work in both Philadelphia and London. In 1728, at the age of twenty-two, Ben opened his own printing office in Philadelphia. His most famous publications were a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette and his annual Poor Richard's Almanack. He had many new ideas for publishing and he is known for printing cartoons, illustrated news stories, and letters to the editor. He believed in the power of the press, using his printing press as a way to bring the news to all people. He used cartoons and pictures so that everyone could understand the news, even people who had not learned to read.
Johannes Gutenberg who is credited with being the first to use movable type printing, in around 1439, and the global inventor of the mechanical printing press. His major work, the Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible), has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality. Among the specific contributions to printing that are attributed to Gutenberg are the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type, the use of oil-based ink, and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the screw olive and wine presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system.