Yellow journalism is a type of journalism in which sensationalism triumphs over facts. Some journalists employ colourful language and exaggeration to make a dull, dry story more exciting; sometimes facts are not carefully checked, and even entire incidents are falsified. “Human interest” stories, accounts of murders, scandals and gossip are habitually covered by the yellow press, which developed in the 19th century, especially in the United States.
Two early examples of yellow newspapers were the New York World and the New York Journal American, published by magnates Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, respectively. They used a populist approach to political and social issues, and competed with each other with attractive illustrations, articles by talented writers, and cartoons (one of these, called “The Yellow Kid”, gave the journals their nickname). These papers had large circulations and financial success; they became models for the popular press, and a powerful influence on public opinion.
The Spanish/American War of 1898, for example, was preceded by intense campaigns in the yellow press encouraging the U.S. public’s patriotism and sympathy for Cuban rebels. Sensational anti-Spanish stories were published distorting the news. Hearst is said to have told his reporters in Cuba, when they found the situation peaceful: “You supply the pictures, and I’ll supply the war”.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-2 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS
1) How are facts treated by yellow journalism?
2) Why is the sensationalist press known as “yellow journalism”?
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT.
3) The news published by the yellow press is always true.
4) Hearst’s and Pulitzer’s papers were not read by many people.
5) Hearst and Pulitzer encouraged an anti-war atmosphere.
6. Hearst sent his reporters to Cuba after the war had started.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
7) Find in the text one opposite for BORING (adjective)
8) Give one synonym for INCIDENT (line 3) (noun)
9) Find in the text one synonym for USE (verb)
10) Find in the text the word which has the following definition:“a familiar or humorous denomination for a person or thing” (noun).
11) Turn the following sentences into reported speech:
“Buy me the paper if you’re going out”, Alice asked her brother.
12) Turn the following sentence into the passive voice:
Many people consider the yellow press dishonest.
13) Join the following sentences using a relative. Make changes if necessary.
Clark Kent worked for a newspaper. The newspaper was called ‘The Daily Planet’.
14) Give a question for the underlined words:
The yellow press specializes in scandal and gossip.