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Sensational and vicious readings have always attracted readers

Sensational and vicious readings have always attracted readers Sensational and vicious readings have always attracted readers
Source: mightyleeds
Trust Me, I'm Lying
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Newspapers changed the moment that Benjamin Day launched the New York Sun in 1833. It was not so much his paper that changed everything but his way of selling it: on the street, one copy at a time. He hired the unemployed to hawk his papers and immediately solved a major problem that had plagued the party presses: unpaid subscriptions. Day's "cash and carry" method offered no credit. You bought and walked. The Sun, with this simple innovation in distribution, invented the news and the newspaper. A thousand imitators followed.

These papers weren't delivered to your doorstep. They had to be exciting and loud enough to fight for their sales on street corners, in barrooms, and at train stations.* Because of the change in distribution methods and the increased speed of the printing press, newspapers truly became newspapers. Their sole aim was to get new information, get it to print faster, get it more exclusively than their competition. It meant the decline of the editorial. These papers relied on gossip. Papers that resisted failed and went out of business—like abolitionist Horace Greeley's disastrous attempt at a gossip-free cash-and-carry paper shortly before Day's. 

In 1835, shortly after Day began, James Gordon Bennett, Sr. launched the New York Herald. Within just a few years the Herald would be the largest circulation daily in the United States, perhaps in the world. It would also be the most sensational and vicious. It was all these things not because of Bennett’s personal beliefs but because of his business beliefs. He knew that the newspaper’s role was “not to instruct but to startle.” His paper was anti-black, anti-immigrant, and anti-subtlety. These causes sold papers—to both people who loved them for it and people who hated them for it. And they bought and they bought.

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