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New Journalism, Nineteenth-Century

Mark Hampton


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“The New Journalism,” a phrase made famous by cultural critic Matthew Arnold in 1887, refers to a wide range of changes in British →  Newspaper and →  magazine content and format, aimed at making print culture more accessible to working class and female readers. The controversial changes, some influenced by American practice, included formatting innovations, such as headlines, and new types of content, such as interviews, human interest stories, celebrity features, and a shifting emphasis from opinion to →  news , facilitated by the emergence of Reuters and other →  news agencies. Lengthier columns were replaced by paragraphs, often derisively called “snippets,” and the tone grew more personal. To its detractors (such as Arnold), the New Journalism entailed a challenge to the mid-nineteenth-century daily newspaper's authority and political seriousness. To its defenders, including such innovating editors and proprietors as T. P. O'Connor, George Newnes, and Alfred Harmsworth (subsequently Lord Northcliffe), the New Journalism represented an awareness that life was broader than parliamentary politics and the belief that press content should reflect readers’ actual tastes rather than an elite's conception of readers’ needs (→  Exposure to Communication Content ; News Audience ). Although the mid-nineteenth-century daily morning newspaper had certainly been based on commercial motivations, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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