chapter  3
18 Pages

Pressure on the Press: Journalism

BySteven Starker

During the 1830s a group of newspapers broke with tradition to establish a radically new model of journalism. Despite the considerable changes in journalism that occurred during the 1830s and 1840s, many historians place the birth of the New Journalism in the post-Civil War era. The press tyrannizes over public men, letters, the arts, the stage, and even over private life. The letters took some liberties in their satiric comments on local happenings and personalities, and generally were signed with pseudonyms. The birth and infancy of the press were marked by unceasing controversy, with a few critical themes beginning to emerge. Newspapers and news pamphlets eventually became important forces in supporting the American Revolution. If the newspaper was about to destroy American minds and morals, there seemed little way to stop it. The "menace" has been invested in newer forms of media, leaving the newspaper an old and widely accepted institution.