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Essay The Yellow Kids

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“In America the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever.” Oscar Wilde never spoke truer words. The aforementioned ability to govern “for ever and ever” comes from journalistic sensationalism, a craft perfected by newspaper owners and journalists Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst at the dawn of the twentieth century. Sensationalism counts for only one of the numerous ties between the career rivals who, in an effort to distinguish themselves from each other, ironically knotted themselves together in journalism history. Joseph Pulitzer emigrated to the United States of America from Hungary at the age of seventeen and subsequently joined the Union army of the U.S. Civil War. After the war, Carl…show more content…
Helped in large part by owning an established newspaper fresh out of college, Hearst worked his way up the small portion of proverbial ladder Hearst had yet to climb in the journalism world by purchasing The New York Morning Journal. Coincidentally, Hearst purchased The New York Morning Journal from Pulitzer’s soon-to-be-estranged brother Albert (Therkelsen 7) and renamed the paper The Journal (“William,” Sidelights). Hearst’s first took his first notorious step with his pilfering of all of Pulitzer’s editorial staff at the New York World, followed by Pulitzer’s rehiring, and Hearst’s second theft of the same journalists (Contemporary, “Joseph”). Pulitzer, as the originator of the colorful comics section in newspapers, made sure to keep “The Yellow Kid” comic strip in the New York World newspaper despite losing the original designer in Pulitzer’s continuing battle with Hearst (Squires). The fact that the battle went deep enough into the newspapers to affect the comics section helped historians coin the term “yellow journalism” as an idiom for how Hearst and Pulitzer ran their respective newspapers (Therkelsen 7). This immature feud between the two grown men may sound harmless, but accusations surfaced suggesting this quarrel may have caused the Spanish-American War. Without any official word from government organizations, Hearst and Pulitzer both published unconfirmed sensationalistic
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