“01.02 Evolution of American Journalism” – FLVS Journalism 1 Assignment

Reporter’s Notebook

In this lesson I read about the history of Journalism in the US. From The earliest newspaper to present day Social media, journalism in the US has evolved quite a bit over our short history as a nation! One of the earliest forms of  a newspaper, in the early American colonial days was a publication by Benjamin Franklin called “Poor Richards Almanac” and was basically a book of games, puzzles, riddles, and instructions for making household products , and other various types of things.

Some very important dates in the history of American Journalism where also mentioned in this lesson. Such as:

  • The first American newspaper ended in the arrest of its publisher in 1690 (I didn’t know that?!)
  • First battle of the American Revolutionary war reported on in Boston, 1776
  • Also in 1776, the Declaration of Independence published in newspapers all over the colonies
  • New York Times is founded in 1851
  • William Randolph Hearst begins career as newspaper mogul in 1887
  • Joseph Pulitzer dies in 1911 and leaves large funds for the establishment of the graduate school of journalism @ Colombia University and also the Pulitzer Prize, the highest possible award for journalists
  • Radio becomes a means of broadcasting news and entertainment in 1920’s
  • 1940, Television makes its way onto the news broadcasting scene, and into many American homes
  • Typewriters are made obsolescent by the use of computers in the world of journalism in the 1980’s

What are your thoughts about early American journalism?

When I think of Early American Journalism, I consider it one of the things that makes this country great, right from the start. Our inalienable right to free speech and freedom of the press can be attributed to the divine forethought of our founding fathers. Thus the inclusion of the First Amendment in our nation’s great constitution, American journalism, embodies free speech in every possible meaning of the phrase.  In many countries around the world, there is no such thing as freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. In those countries, the general public is only informed of political and social affairs that the government wants them to know about. Here in the USA we fought for our freedom of speech and press. Freedom of the press, and freedom of Speech, were just two of the reasons so many American colonists sought a new country, separate from Great Britain in our early colonial days. Thus we are informed about political affairs from our wonderful press, whether through Social Media or through the TV, and thus we make our own deductions from it. Because when you say “Freedom of Speech” or “Freedom of the Press” you might as well say “Freedom of Thought” “Freedom to think what we want about anything and everything”  and “Freedom of Opinion”. That is the United States of America!

What would happen if freedom of the press were not guaranteed?

I think that if freedom of the press where not guaranteed in this country, we as a society would die. In today’s society, people thrive on the lives of others. Examples of this are magazines, television, movies, Tabloids,  etc. Magazines and Tabloids are a huge money-making venture in this country, all you have to do to see this is walk through the check-out line at the grocery store.  I think that the raw and innocent thinking of earlier journalists is something that will be forever archived. Early America journalism was an amazing thing. I do believe that if freedom of the press were not guaranteed, than this society would be far worse off than what it is today. The press gives the public information that we need to know in order to maintain a life that we are happy with. If we were denied the right of freedom of the press, than the government would be the ones having the say in what we read in the newspapers and magazines. It is my personal opinion that this would lead to Americans being blindsided by their own government, even more so than they already are!



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