By Frederic A. Moritz
ISSUES | CONTENTS | SITE HIGHLIGHTS | SITE SEARCH
GATE TO WAR | GUERRILLA WAR
STIR THE POT; OR CALM THE TEMPER?
1) Yellow Journalism and the Victorian Age foreign correspondent:
Speeded by telegraph cable, fast steamships and fueled by a hunger for sensational "yellow" headlines on colonial wars and massacres, 19th Century mass circulation urban newspapers compete for readers in a new age of literacy.
(SEE: MARGARET FULLER: WOMAN WHO LED THE WAY; HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNALISM: OVERVIEW IN "YELLOW"; CREELMAN AT PORT ARTHUR: FORGOTTEN SEEDS OF PROPHECY; CREELMAN IN CUBA: "YELLOW" SEEDS OF WAR; SPANISH LEGACY: THE IMPACT OF SANTO DOMINGO.)
The cartoon character known as "The Yellow Kid,"
as developed by R. F. Outcault, symbolized
competing mass circulation dailies
associated with Yellow Journalism.
See also Journalism and the Spanish American War
"Though the national independence be blurred by the servility of individuals; though freedom and equality have been proclaimed only to leave room for a monstrous display of slave dealing and slave keeping; though the free American so often feels himself free, like the Roman, only to pamper his appetites and his indolence through the misery of his fellow beings, still it is not in vain, that the verbal statement has been made, "All men are born free and equal." There it stands, a golden certainty, wherewith to encourage the good, to shame the bad. The new world may be called clearly to perceive that it incurs the utmost penalty, if it rejects the sorrowful brother."
"The Great Lawsuit. Man versus Men. Woman versus Women."
The Dial, IV, July 1843
2) Post World War I skepticism about human rights journalism:
Following the explosion of atrocity stories which turned out to be be baseless propaganda during World War I, human rights reporting took a step backwards during the 1930's. Skeptical editors and reporters want to see before they believe.
(SEE: BEYOND BELIEF: IS THIS A "NAZI KIND OF THING?")
3) Post World War II interest in human rights issues:
Fueled by holocaust and the horrors of war, modern communications technology supports the message: "never again." Radio, telephone, and eventually television bring closer the remote.
(SEE: WHAT THE CAMERA CATCHES: OVERSEAS CRIME BEAT; KISSINGER "ON TRIAL": MEDIA AND UNIVERSALISM; BEYOND BELIEF: IS THIS A "NAZI KIND OF THING?")
4) Intensification of human rights coverage following the Vietnam War and the emergence of globalization:
With the end of the Cold War and the rise of antimilitary feeling, globalization and technology fuels human rights consciousness. Television brings dying victims alive. The internet breaks national boundaries as the emergence of non governmental lobbying organizations (NGO's) and international peacekeeping operations help make human rights issues news. Fleeing refugees gather media attention.
(SEE: WHAT THE CAMERA CATCHES: OVERSEAS CRIME BEAT, MY LAI, MEDIA, AND IRAQ, HOW BURMA'S DARKNESS ESCAPED MEDIA SPOTLIGHT)
Copyright ©2001 Frederic A. Moritz
All Rights Reserved
Citation Permitted Only With Credit