Presentation on theme: "The First Newspapers in America"— Presentation transcript:
1The First Newspapers in America …were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.Thomas Jefferson, 1787
2America’s First Newspaper - 1690 Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, was the first newspaper published in America. It was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris in Boston on September 25, It filled only 3 of 4 six by ten inch pages of a folded sheet of paper. The journalist stated in his first (and only) issue that he would issue the newspaper "once a month, or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener."
3Fourteen Years Later… The Boston News-Letter in 1704
4One of the most sensational stories published when the News-Letter was the only newspaper in the colonies was the the account of how Blackbeard the pirate was killed in hand-to-hand combat on the deck of a sloop that had engaged his ship in battle.
5Formatting of Colonial Newspapers Most were published weekly – and known as weeklies
6Paper Size was 10 X 15Most had four pages and measured about 10 X 15 inches.A letter size sheet of paper today measures 8 ½ X 11.A legal sheet of paper today measures 8 1/2/ X 14.A ledger sheet of paper today measures 11 X 17.
7Printing of Colonial Papers In 1769 colonial papers were printed on presses imported from England. The type was set by hand—meaning that each letter was set by hand!
8Colonial Printing Shops Often the printer’s shop was also a stationary shop, a post office, an advertising agency, an office supply shop, a newsstand, and a bookbindery. A printer might sell maps and almanacs, and sealing wax! The press printed broadsides, laws and proclamations, tracts and record books.
9The Colonists Wanted News Quickly Most stories were very brief and included only the most significant information
10What was INSIDE of the Colonial Newspapers? Newspapers contained essays, poems and humorous material. Ben Franklin was famous for including his own essays and letters.
11SensationalismNews stories included those that would be considered sensational or scandalous by today’s standards. A report of a strange creature being sighted or some unusual event occurring attributed to the supernatural or god-like powers might be included in the news.
12Readers Were Curious about happenings in other towns and colonies and about ordinary and everyday occurrences
13Typical “brief”Run away a small yellow Negro wench named Hannah, about 35 years of age, had on when she went away a green plain petticoat and sundry other clothes, but what sort I do not know.—from a 1767 issue of Williamsburg's Virginia Gazette
14Typical “ad”For Sale—The spars, anchors, rigging, and hull, of a brig, sixty four feet keel, twenty four and a half feet beam, and ten feet hold.—from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser
15The Boston Gazette 10 X 15 size 3 columns courier typeface Small headlinespapers often printed on old wallpaper
16Ben Franklin News of 175010 X 15 size 3 columns very hard to read duplication of art work
17The 1736 Virginia Gazette 10 X 15 size 2 columns easier to read Still used small courier typeface
18LIBEL and ZengerPerhaps the most famous name in early American journalism is that of Peter Zenger. Publisher of the New York Weekly Journal, Zenger was accused and tried for libel against the colonial British government in In this picture, Zenger is arrested and his printing press is burned by Colonial authorities.
19Zenger was found innocent and it was that one verdict that paved the way for a free and independent press in America. For the first time it was considered proper for the press to question and criticize the government. This is a pillar of a free press in the United States and any country that is free. Journalists have to be able to question the actions of the government in order to make them accountable.
20In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Ben Franklin published America's first newspaper cartoon, a picture showing a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, with the caption: "Join or Die."
21The Boston Gazette 1770 Boston Massacre four pages3 columnsbroadsheetno headlines
23Newspapers PROSPEREDBen Franklin became a wealthy publisher and editorHe linked print shops and post offices and spread news papering up and down the east coast
24First to InformPrior to the Revolution newspapers existed to inform people of what was going on in the rest of the worldThe Revolution changed the focus to events in the other colonies
25Daily Publication Daily publication or “dailies” began in the 1780s There were about 100 newspapers by 1790Some were great annoyances to men in high positionsIt was a time of enormous press freedomMany newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party: the National Gazette for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the Gazette of the United States for the Jeffersonian Republicans.
26The Right to a FREE Press Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press.Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."Samuel Adams said in 1768 that "there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants as a free press."
27All that is needed for newspapers to become a mass medium is a good idea. Along comes Benjamin Day in Day opened the New York Sun and created the Penny Press.
28Newspapers of the day cost about 10 cents each Newspapers of the day cost about 10 cents each too expensive for the masses. But there was a large literate audience out there. Day took advantage of the fact that he could print thousands of papers inexpensively and sold the papers for a penny each.
29The Civil War era brought some “new” technology to the publishing industry. Photography became a popular addition to newspapers. Matthew Brady set up a camera on the battlefields and photographed the soldiers at war. One of his photographs appears above.
30An invention that helped speed news along was the telegraph An invention that helped speed news along was the telegraph. Reporters were able to send encoded news back to their papers as it was happening.
31To alleviate the situation of getting cut off in mid code, reporters developed the “inverted pyramid” form of writing, putting the most important facts at the beginning of the story.
32In the mid-1890s, Pulitzer (in the New York World) and Hearst (in the San Francisco Examiner and later the New York Morning Journal) transformed newspapers with sensational and scandalous news coverage, the use of drawings and the inclusion of more features such as comic strips.
33After Pulitzer began publishing color comic sections that included a strip entitled "The Yellow Kid" (left) in early 1896, this type of paper was labeled "yellow journalism."
35She got a job on the Pittsburgh Dispatch when she wrote a furious letter complaining about an editorial that claimed that women were good for little but housework. She covered social questions such as divorce, slum life, and conditions in Mexico for the paper.
36In 1887 she moved to Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, for which she exposed the conditions in which the insane lived by pretending to be mad and getting herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell's Island. She also investigated sweat-shop tenements by the same methods.
37In 1895, Hearst purchased the New York Morning Journal and entered into a head-to-head circulation war with his former mentor, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World.
38You should have taken notes on this information. This week we will watch a movie about the 60s so you will understand important court cases that changed the way students can report on news for a school newspaper.
39Resources Colonial Newspaper Resources The New England InquirerColonial TimesBoston Society ReviewThe Colonial Times RecordThe Grand Old TimesNew England ChronicleNewport NewsBoston GazetteRichmond Herald Tribune