History of the Newspaper:
Are newspapers ‘old news?’ According to recent research 90 per cent of students do think newspapers are outdated and do not like reading print news. Instead they prefer to consume news from commercial television or online media.
But what would happen if no one read print news anymore? Print news has been an important influential factor throughout American history. The first successful newspaper was the Boston News-Letter.
Two more newspapers, one in Philadelphia and one in New York, made their debut in the 1720’s. Soon before the Revolutionary War, roughly two dozen newspapers were in circulation. The articles in these colonial papers were a major force that drove public opinion in America. Back then, reading the newspapers was a democratic responsibility.
Power of Framing:
However, even if students do not engage with print news anymore, newspapers remain relevant in the realm of politics. Newspapers still control public opinion through articles, news investigations, and photographs. Readers are able to become influenced by the framing mechanisms used by journalists. Because of this, political candidates invest enormous resources into controlling their messages during campaigns. Framing is an organizing device that journalists use in order to achieve persuasion over readers. Journalists use framing in order to create a particular narrative that sells a particular view point.
For example, there were two different frames existing around the Refugee crisis and Trump’s travel ban. On one hand, the travel ban was justified if framed in a way that made the issue of refugees strictly about the safety of the United States. By reporting that the safety of the United States would be jeopardized if refugees came into our country, some people would agree with this position out of fear. On the other hand, the story could be spun in a way that makes the refugees innocent victims who are not being welcomed into our country due to hate and racism. Below is an example of excerpt from a New York times article framing opposing opinions on Trumps travel ban:
“No citizen from the barred countries has carried out a fatal terrorist attack in the United States in the past two decades. That’s in part because the “extreme vetting” that Mr. Trump and his anti-immigration cabal have been hawking was already the law of the land.”
Newspaper Vs. Social Media
Before Trump shook up the world of politics during the 2016 election, the reportorial aspect of our media world was becoming a smaller part of the information people chose to see or read. This is due to the fact that now journalism rivals against the growing culture of commercial and social media. New media incorporates speed, entertainment and political affinity, which is difficult for newspapers to keep up with. Platforms such as internet blogs and social media sites are pushing traditional media aside and are quickly becoming the new influencer of politics. In order for newspapers to stay relevant in today’s media environment, journalists must expose the skeleton of their reporting. They must raise the bar of print news through verification and showing readers that they are a trustworthy source.
Andy. “Students don’t read newspapers Shock!” AndyDickinson.net, 12 Mar. 2009, digidickinson.net/2009/03/12/students-dont-read-newspapers-shock/.
“A Brief History of Newspapers.” Newspaper History, http://www.historicpages.com/nprhist.htm.
Board, The Editorial. “A Trump Travel Ban We’ve Seen Before.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Sept. 2017, http://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/editorials/trump-travel-ban.html.
Pettegree, Andrew. “Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion.” 2005, doi:10.1017/cbo9780511614613.