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Source: Punxsutawney Spirit
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “What ‘Yellow Journalism’ Means”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Date of publication: 25 September 1901
Volume number: 29
Issue number: 17
Pagination: [4]

“What ‘Yellow Journalism’ Means.” Punxsutawney Spirit 25 Sept. 1901 v29n17: p. [4].
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yellow journalism.
Named persons


What “Yellow Journalism” Means

     To say that a newspaper is “yellow” is not to question the ability of its editorial staff, the talent and energy of its reporters, or the enterprise of its publishers. Our yellow newspapers, unfortunately, have the best talent that money will procure, and are able even to brilliancy. What is meant by a “yellow” newspaper is one that is willing to sacrifice anything to make itself popular, and gain a wide circulation. The yellow journal caters to anything, right or wrong, that will make it sell. If to pander to that which is vicious, to foster discord, to countenance that which degrades and demoralizes the public taste, to weaken love of country, to destroy cherished idols, to sustain unjust prejudices, to destroy faith in our institutions, to propogate [sic] slander or to bring good men and wholesome measures into contempt and disrepute, will sell more papers, the yellow journal does not hesitate. If hideous cartoons and fierce denunciations that lead cranks to believe that the country needs a Brutus, will add to the receipts of the business office, the yellow journal does not scruple to resort to them. If, now and then, the fruits of its work become too apparent, and threatens to prove a boomerang, it hastens to don the mask of virtue and patriotism and hides behind a breastwork of the most grief-stricken, sympathetic and tearful language. It outdoes all its contemporaries in eulogizing the kindness and wisdom and broad statesmanship of the man whom it habitually portrayed as a despot, a contemptible tool and a narrow partisan. That which it formerly defended it will frantically denounce. The yellow journal is artful. It can crawl as well as soar. It can eat dirt as well as ambrosia.



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