yellow journalism


yellow journalism
n.
< the use of yellow ink, to attract readers, in printing the “Yellow Kid,” a comic strip, in the New York World (1895)
the use of cheaply sensational or unscrupulous methods in newspapers, etc. to attract or influence readers

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n [U]
a type of journalism that exaggerates news stories and deliberately includes exciting or shocking material in order to attract readers. The name comes from the Yellow Kid comic strip which began in the New York World in 1895 and used yellow ink to attract readers’ attention. Newspapers that include yellow journalism are often called the yellow press.

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In newspaper publishing, the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation.

The phrase was coined in the 1890s to describe tactics employed in the furious competition between two New York papers, Joseph Pulitzer's World and William Randolph Hearst's Journal. When Hearst hired away from Pulitzer a cartoonist who had drawn the immensely popular comic strip "The Yellow Kid," another cartoonist was hired to draw the comic for the World; the rivalry excited so much attention that the competition was dubbed yellow journalism. Techniques of the period that became permanent features of U.S. journalism include banner headlines, coloured comics, and copious illustrations.

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      the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation. The phrase was coined in the 1890s to describe the tactics employed in furious competition between two New York City newspapers, the World (New York World) and the Journal.

 Joseph Pulitzer (Pulitzer, Joseph) had purchased the World (New York World) in 1883 and, using colourful, sensational reporting and crusades against political corruption and social injustice, had won the largest newspaper circulation in the country. His supremacy was challenged in 1895 when William Randolph Hearst (Hearst, William Randolph), the son of a California mining tycoon, moved into New York City and bought the rival Journal. Hearst, who had already built the San Francisco Examiner into a hugely successful mass-circulation paper, soon made it plain that he intended to do the same in New York City by outdoing his competitors in sensationalism, crusades, and Sunday features. He brought in some of his staff from San Francisco and hired some away from Pulitzer's paper, including Richard F. Outcault (Outcault, Richard Felton), a cartoonist who had drawn an immensely popular comic picture series, The Yellow Kid, for the Sunday World. After Outcault's defection, the comic was drawn for the World by George B. Luks (Luks, George), and the two rival picture series excited so much attention that the competition between the two newspapers came to be described as “yellow journalism.” This all-out rivalry and its accompanying promotion developed large circulations for both papers and affected American journalism in many cities.

      The era of yellow journalism may be said to have ended shortly after the turn of the century, with the World's gradual retirement from the competition in sensationalism. Some techniques of the yellow-journalism period, however, became more or less permanent and widespread, such as banner headlines, coloured comics, and copious illustration; in other media, most notably television and the Internet, many of the sensationalist practices of yellow journalism have become more commonplace.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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