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Spanish American War (1898)
The Great American Newspaper War, Part 2 - Yellow Journalism

The Great American Newspaper War, Part 2 - Yellow Journalism
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.81

     challenging words:    deserters, determined, likeable, melodramatic, sensational, assured, firsthand, turf, rivalry, helping, inferno, journalism, outdo, tactics, best, cutthroat
     content words:    His Examiner, San Francisco, New York, New York Journal, To Hearst, Then Hearst, Many World, Yellow Kid, Illustrator Fredric Remington, New York City

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The Great American Newspaper War, Part 2 - Yellow Journalism
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Like Pulitzer, W.R. Hearst thrived on investigative reporting. His Examiner regularly blew the whistle on graft. In one instance, Hearst sent a reporter undercover to a local hospital. She witnessed firsthand the facility's treatment of poor women. Her report on the hospital's cruelty toward the poor shocked the city. The next day, every member of the hospital staff was fired. The whole process, of course, kept readers riveted to the pages of the Examiner. Circulation shot up.
2     Hearst made up his mind to be the king of newspaper publishing. He planned to overthrow the reigning king, the same man whose ideas he had copied. Having made his mark in San Francisco, he moved on to New York. Now, on Pulitzer's turf, Hearst plotted to outdo him. Backed by his family's wealth, Hearst bought a cheap newspaper, the New York Journal. He began to mold the paper, honing it to a cutthroat edge.
3     He used the same tactics as he had in San Francisco. Journal readers got their news mixed with a heaping helping of entertainment. To Hearst, winning was everything. The Journal had sold for a penny a copy when Hearst bought it. He kept the penny price and added pages. That cinched the deal for working class patrons. The Journal's circulation soared. Hearst was beating Pulitzer at his own game.
4     The battle was on. Pulitzer chopped the price of his paper to a penny. After all, he'd made money in the newspaper game. He could weather a cut in profits. But could his wealth outlast the Hearst family fortune? Then Hearst attacked from a different angle. Offering generous salaries, he began luring World staff to the Journal. Pulitzer, plagued by stress and health problems, wasn't the most easy-going employer in town. Many World employees went over to Hearst's paper.
5     Among the deserters was a cartoonist who authored a comic strip called The Yellow Kid. It starred a cheery, likeable, bald baby in a yellow nightshirt. The Kid's thoughts appeared in print on his colorful shirtfront. At the time, color was a new thing for mass produced papers. The Yellow Kid was wildly popular. People loved the breezy toddler and his bright yellow shirt. When the strip's author jumped ship, The Yellow Kid began appearing in Hearst's Journal. Pulitzer promptly hired another cartoonist for the World and continued the strip. Now both papers had Yellow Kid comics running at the same time!

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Spanish American War (1898)
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