During our last lecture we talked about communication in the 19th century and its highlights - the telegraph, yellow journalism, stunt reporting, and muckracking. These were very important for the development of communication, so I'd like to talk briefly about each of them. This post is going to be about a revolutionary invention:
|Abraham Lincoln. Image via|
|Cyrus Field. Image via|
The invention of the telegraph brought many changes to the life of people and journalism in particular:
- It made the postal service less important, as news no longer had to rely on physical transportation.
- It altered newspaper content and style. With the adoption of the telegraph for gathering news, newspapers introduced the inverted pyramid style (which is still used today), where the most important information was placed at the top, in the lead paragraph, with the least important information at the bottom of an article. See its principle in the picture below.
- The telegraph mechanized and standardized news gathering, allowing newspapers to cut down their staff.
- Newspapers shifted their emphasis from literary stories to hard news.
- Newspapers had to cooperate to gather and distribute news. In 1856 five daily NYC newspapers formed the Associated Press(AP) that still exists today. It was founded as a way of cooperation for gathering unbiased news and selling it to other papers. Today, it is one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the world.