Pulitzer The Immigrant • Came to the U.S. from Hungary • Served for the Union in the Civil War • Became a reporter for German Language papers • Purchased St. Louis Post-Dispatch with his brother-1872,
Pulitzer The Mogul • St. Louis Post Dispatch became one of the country’s leading papers by 1878. • Pulitzer had a knack for running popular stories. He was also generally an advocate for the underdog. • Ran stories heavy with a mix of murder, sin and sex. • Pulitzer purchases New York World in 1883.
Stories from the New York WorldMay 10- 1883 – the day Pulitzer bought the World • Dog show prizes awarded • New commissioners for the city council
Stories from the New York WorldMay 11- 1883 – the day after Pulitzer bought the World • DEADLY LIGHTNING—SIX LIVES AND ONE MILLION DOLLARS LOST • 100,000 BARRELS OF OIL IGNITED BY AN EXPLOSION • PENDING EXECUTION: CORNETTI’S LAST NIGHT. Shaking his cell door and demanding release. He refuses to listen to priest or minister—shouting from under the black cap that his executioners are murderers.
AND MORE SENSATIONAL STORIES • WARD MCCOKEY HANGED—SHOUTING FROM UNDER THE BLACK CAP THAT HIS EXECUTIONERS ARE MURDERERS • DYNAMITE IN HAITI—REBELS USE IT TO KILL ANDWOUND 400 PEOPLE
The Good Side of Sensationalism • Pulitzer was reform oriented. • Exposed gambling dens, insurance swindles, monopolies. • Attacked the St. Louis Gas-Light Company, the railroad monopoly, tenement house squalor.
William Randolph Hearst1863-1951 • Took over San Francisco Examiner – 1887 • 1895 - Bought the New York Journal
The Yellow Journalism Wars • Hearst reduces Journal price to one cent • Runs wild, sensational stories of crime, pseudoscience • Hearst: If there is an element of the ridiculous in a story, emphasize the ridiculous part.
The Spanish American War Remember the main the Maine enters Havana Harbor January, 1898, three weeks before an explosion sinks it. Did the Spanish sink it?
As one of the few sources of public information, newspapers had reached unprecedented influence and importance. Journalistic giants, such as Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer of the World, viciously competed for the reader's attention. They were determined to reach a daily circulation of a million people, and they didn't mind fabricating stories in order to reach their goal.
Hearst Hires Top Reporters to Go To Cuba • The correspondents, including such notables as author Stephen Crane and artist Frederick Remington, found little to report on when they arrived. • "There is no war," Remington wrote to his boss. "Request to be recalled.“ • Remington's boss, William Randolph Hearst, sent a cable in reply: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."
Hearst was true to his word. For weeks after the Maine disaster, the Journal devoted more than eight pages a day to the story.
Hearst Vs. Orson Welles: The Power of the Media Owner May, 1941: Orson Welles’ film, “Citizen Kane” is released. Hearst is furious because the film satirizes him and his lover, Marion Davies… moves to have the film suppressed. Orson Welles’ career is ruined. Film’s distribution is curtailed thanks to Hearst’s efforts.
But in the end … • Citizen Kane, after Hearst’s death, attains critical acclaim. • Critics vote Citizen Kane the best film ever made. • Welles dies in 1985: his attempts to revive his directorial career never led to success equal to Citizen Kane. • Even Welles admitted Hearst wrecked his career for good.