The Yellow Press

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"Yellow Press"

Heast and Pulitzer vs Spain; Let the War begin!!!

The "Yellow Press" is based upon the distortion of facts to try and make a exciting and more entertaining newspaper, in turn generating more readers. The "Yellow Press" is also known or referred to as "Yellow Journalism." The "Yellow Press" started in 1835 by a man by the name of James Bennett, in his popular paper the New York Herald. The paper is associated with William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. The two men owned their own New York papers, the Journal and the World Respectively.
Both of the papers were in competition with one another. Each paper made up many stories giving the media and other mass communications people a bad reputation. The papers were successfull at entertaining readers, but for the most part enraged others. By the end of the century Hearst and Pulitzer's papers were divided into sub-sections entitled scandals, scares and sob stories. "Nothing so disgraceful as the behavior of two of these newspapers this week has been known in the history of American Journalism. It is a crying shame that men should work such mischief simply to sell more papers."

As the two papers competed they became to play a major role in America's involvement in Cuba. Hearst and Pulitzer both jumped the opportunity with America's conflict and began running Anti-Spanish stories which played a big factor in fueling the notion for a war.

The start of the Spanish-American War began April 25, 1898. Hearst hired several talented artists for his newspaper strips to create colorful pictures to provoke the war.

The Spanish-American War

A man once said that "The pen is mightier than the Sword," and he could not be any closer to the truth. This war was egged on by the pen of Hearst and Pulitzer who increased the tempers of millions of people with their outrageous stories and pictures in their paper's.

The day was April 25, 1898 and the United States had just declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine. Before the sinking of the Maine the battleship was stationed in Havana, Cuba where many were skeptical about what could happen to the boat. The Battleship was longer than a football field and was a floating city as it lay on the oceans water.

January 25, 1898 -- The U.S.S. Maine

The captain Charles Sigsbee was in his cabin aboard the Main when he heard the explosion. The captain described what happened next

"I laid down my pen and listened to the notes of the bugle, which 
were singularly beautiful in the oppressive stillness of the 
night. . . . I was enclosing my letter in its envelope when the 
explosion came. It was a bursting, rending, and crashing roar of 
immense volume, largely metallic in character. It was followed 
by heavy, ominous metallic sounds. There was a trembling and 
lurching motion of the vessel, a list to port. The electric lights 
went out. Then there was intense blackness and smoke." 
					Captain Sigsbee

The captain along with many others reached the deck of the half sunken battleship. Most of the crew were in bed when the incident took place. Nearby boats saved the crew that remained on the deck of the Maine. Two hundred fifty-four men died on the Maine that night and fifty-nine were wounded. After the incident an investigation took place, but they never did find out who was reponsible.

Pulitzer and Hearst get a piece of the action Although the investigation went on and nobody was found responsible for sinking the Battleship. The press had already made their minds up on who did it, it was the "cowardly Spanish."

For months the papers provided detailed horror stories of Cuban life under the oppressive Spanish rule. The presses released stories with headlines such as Spanish Cannibalism, Inhuman Torture, Amazon Warriors Fight for Rebels.

The papers sent many reporters and artists to Cuba, but when they arrived their the reporters and photographers found little to write about when they arrived there. The writers reported back to Hearst and Pulitzer that they had nothing to write about in their trip to Cuba. Hearst's reply to his reporters in Cuba, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

Luckily the war did not go on for very long! Ten months later the war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Spain lost its control over the remain of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippine islands, Guam, and other islands.


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