If you’re one of many in the U.S. who are tired of dirty politics, underhanded election campaigns and overall political corruption, you are definitely not alone in your struggle. Fake news has a lot to do with the problem. However, fake news isn’t something new. In fact, it began in the late 1800s when two powerful men who owned competing newspapers at the time, were vying to be top-dog journalists even it meant deceiving the public to do so.
John Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst are known for many things, especially the significant roles they each played in the development of American journalism. They are also the “fathers” of yellow journalism, nowadays known as, “fake news.”
Pulitzer’s newspaper was the highest circulated in New York. The paper was also reportedly quite biased toward the Democratic party, hence the beginning of the relationship between journalism, more specifically, fake news and politics. Hearst had read Pulitzer’s newspaper and vowed to be as or more successful when he took over his father’s journal company on the West Coast.
These two money-hungry men saw nothing wrong with printing misleading headlines and false news to attract readers and to get people to buy papers. Hearst, in particular, also perfected the “craft” of slamming public authority figures, such as police or government leaders through sardonic writing that incited ire and angst among the general population.
It’s no secret that men like Pulitzer and Hearst became increasingly wealthy through questionable means, including encouraging writers to create and print whatever types of headlines and news would sell more copies, thereby making more profit. It’s also no secret that not only has the problem not gone away, yellow journalism and politics continue to exist hand-in-hand, often causing derision among voters, who believe misguided information and launch verbal wars against each other, based not on fact but on gossip, deceptive headlines and underlying agenda that is fed by behind-the-scenes greed, power and corruption.
It’s not just printed news that’s negatively affected by yellow journalism. Online publications and television media are entrenched in mafia-like control by wealthy, powerful rulers who “own” reporters and networks, censoring our news and forcing their politically-motivated, profit-driven agendas down our throats at every turn.
Some people, like me, got rid of TV and stopped subscribing to news publications more than a decade ago, opting for careful, thorough individual research to try to weed out yellow journalism and obtain real news. Sadly, many others thrive on being titillated by scandal-ridden shock-stories that are not only no longer rare but have become mainstream.
Journalism and politics would both be better off if writers and government leaders would base their efforts on integrity, truth and morally upright work ethics rather than caving into pressures to lower their standards and do anything and everything to win votes or to be top-selling news circulations. If people would stop paying for yellow journalism, and stop voting according to read they read on fake news sites, we might be able to get this country back on track.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.