Presentation on theme: "Yellow Journalism Past & Present Yellow Journalism: A form of reporting that relied on sensational stories or headlines that were often exaggerated or."— Presentation transcript:
Yellow Journalism Past & Present Yellow Journalism: A form of reporting that relied on sensational stories or headlines that were often exaggerated or untrue. Meant to catch readers attention and influence them in a certain way. (tabloids)
What is this cover story attempting to influence?
Rise of Yellow Journalism in the US In 1898, the Spanish American War was on the horizon. The US was in the process of extending its imperialistic ways into the areas of the Caribbean. Already energized by its successes in obtaining Alaska, and numerous islands in the Pacific, the US began to set it sights on the Spanish held island 90 miles off the coast of Florida called Cuba.
Cuba was in the midst of a revolution against its mother country of Spain. According to newspapers, mass atrocities and cruelty was being exerted on the Cuban people by the Spanish and many Americans urged President McKinley to step in and help them.
“Cuba is a ripe apple that one day will be torn from its Native tree and fall into the hands of the US” -John Quincy Adams The US had long wanted Cuba and this revolution was an opportunity. The US hesitated but did see this revolution as a chance to expand its influence in the Caribbean.
At this point the Spanish Empire had already shrunk to two islands in the Western Hemisphere. They simply held Cuba & Puerto Rico. Jose Marti was the Cuban rebel who fought for their independence.
Spanish & Cuban Fighting Jose Marti spoke of Spanish brutality in his newspaper called Patria. It aroused American sympathies. Marti was killed in battle but his rebel forced fought on and burned sugarcane farms & government buildings to disable the Spanish forces. In addition they destroyed rail lines. The rebels wanted to make the island less profitable so the Spanish would desert it. In response, the Spanish began their Reconcentration campaign. – According to this campaign they captured and moved over a half million rebels to detention camps where many died from starvation and disease.
US Reaction to Spanish Brutality Many Americans were shocked by the brutal and cruel actions of the Spanish. They felt it was their obligation to help end the injustices. Others too were concerned about the economic impact on the US. They were afraid they would lose money and valuable foreign trade due to the war. The US traded over $100 million a year with Cuba and invested in many of their industries including: – Sugar cane & Rice Plantations – Railroads – Tobacco – Iron Mines
US Supports the Rebels “They have risen against oppression, compared to which the oppression which led us to rebel against England is as dust in the balance; and they feel that for this reason, if no other, they should have the sympathy of the people of the United States.” - Senator Henry Cabot Lodge 1896
Yellow Journalism To attract readers and supporters to the cause of fighting with Cuba, many journalists/reporters conjured up exaggerated stories, headlines, and images to influence the American people into supporting it.
The US supported Cuba but did not yet fully engage in physical combat. One reporter photographer who journeyed to Cuba for the story said “there is no war” to his publisher William Randolph Hearst. “There was not much fighting or suffering to capture”. Hearst responded in an encouragement to the use of yellow journalism: – “You supply the pictures…I’ll supply the war” – What did Hearst mean by this????
Hand to hand combat by US soldiers was avoided by President McKinley as long as he could. But one February night fighting broke out in the capital cities Havana Harbor. The US sent a battle ship The Maine there to protect US property and civilians. Unexpectedly the ship exploded and killed at least 260 of the 350 American sailors on board. The press exclaimed that the Spanish planted a bomb and outrageous headlines filled the “yellow papers”.
Headlines “Remember the Maine!!” Fight Back! “The Maine was the Work of the Enemy!” “The Warship the Main Split in Two by Enemy Secret Internal Machine!” “Spanish Bombs Leave Hundreds of Americans Dead or Fighting for Lives!”
Normally headlines like these may not seem so outrageous, BUT no proof of Spanish involvement or true reason was ever discovered as the root cause of the explosion. Many jumped to conclusions. Today it is believed The Maine may have blown up do to a boiler defect. Regardless, McKinley declared war on Spain on April 25, 1898.
You are the Journalist… How would you produce this story? Follow the activity in the assignment provided by your teacher to create your own TIME magazine cover and Yellow Journalism article describing the US involvement in the Cuban revolution or the Destruction of The Maine. You may take a Spanish or an American perspective. DEADLINE IS TOMORROW!!!!