Friday, July 22, 2011

Murdoch’s woes a pale imitation of the glory days of the tabloid press: NatPost comment

The National Post is reprinting a story from Slate magazine that puts Murdoch in perspective. i.e. he did not invent "yellow journalism."

The story by Paul Collins:

"It was 1 a.m. on a hot July night when detectives marched into the offices of the New York World. “Where’s the head?” they demanded.

"In the summer of 1897, that question meant just one thing in Manhattan newsrooms, and it wasn’t a request to meet the managing editor. The head everyone sought was of William Guldensuppe, a masseur who had disappeared in late June from his Hell’s Kitchen apartment. He’d reappeared scattered in pieces along the Lower East Side, the Bronx and Brooklyn. What was still missing, though, was his head — which, rumor had it, a jealous lover had hidden inside a block of plaster.

"To William Randolph Hearst, the crime was a perfect opportunity to trumpet his newly launched New York Evening Journal. Hearst offered a whopping $1,000 reward to solve the crime, and even formed a “Murder Squad” of reporters who were ready to resort to flashing badges and pistols to make citizen’s arrests. Yet his stunts were merely improvements on the carnivalesque populism of rival publisher Joseph Pulitzer. . . ."

Click on the title to read the whole column.

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