To Fix Fake News, Look to Yellow Journalism

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Some writers have not hesitated to indict the entire newspaper business-or profession-on such charges as deliberate suppression of certain kinds of news, distortion of news actually published, studied unfairness toward certain classes, political organizations and social movements, systematic catering to powerful groups of advertisers, brazen and vicious “faking,” and reckless disregard of decency, proportion and taste for the sake of increased profits.

If you think that quote comes from a recent critic of fake news, think again! That’s from a 1922 article by Victor Yarros, and it’s part of my look at the long tradition of lousy journalism — most notably, the “yellow journalism” phenomenon of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

My latest JSTOR post uses the case of yellow journalism to make sense of the media crisis today. Read the whole piece at JSTOR Daily.

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