A journalist and Newspapers of the 1890s

What can you do with a pen? What can you do with a journalist? You can change the world. You can change the way people see things. For example, newspapers and the 1890s changed how America thought about war, race, and politics.

Newspapers made people prejudice against Italian Americans. People were afraid because of their Mafia ties; even if those ties did not exist. Before the climax of these newspaper reports, they were often apprehensive and speculative. Thus, newspapers could fill in what they wanted without any real facts, creating bias. An example would be one the code of ethics for the mafia a newspaper in Chicago reported; omerta, which translates to manliness and means an utter scorn, abjuration, and disregard of all the established forms of law. Newspapers continued to say the Mafia was ruthless and bad, and since the Mafia was made of Italians, it furthered the fear of Italians, especially in New Orleans. According to historians referenced in the documentary film Linciati, these reports were groundless.

Politics became a huge issue for the People’s Party. Those concerned about the burgeoning crassness and uncontrollable greed of America’s entrepreneurial began to question the direction of the nation and the wisdom of its leaders. Their weapon they used was education. The image has a line of people at a library asking for Populist books to avoid political ignorance. The party needed to find an inexpensive way to educate the party because the party was all poor people living on shoe string budgets. The Populist Farmers Alliance decided to help with that providing inexpensive small town newspapers.


Before the Spanish-American war began, two people, Richard Davis and Frederic Remington, were dispatched to Cuba to report what was happening. Richard was a “correspondent and golden boy of New York journalism, and Frederic was an “artist and illustrator of the West. Eventually, these men became bored because nothing was happening and wanted to come home; their boss, William Hearst who was an owner of a newspaper, replied Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war. The men knew in advance that a war would break out but did not know when, and their job was to create yellow journalism. Their boss knew the United States wanted to make Spain give up Cuba and that war would eventually break out to make it happen.


Journalists have caused this to happen. What do you want to cause or change.

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