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The Works of Print Media 

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1722
  • Category: Legacy

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Print media also known as “Printed Journalism” is a form of advertising that uses physical printed media such as newspapers to reach out information to readers. Print describes a situation to a mass public event and bring them closer to the actual event itself. But it cannot actually create and present a physical image the reader still must create a image from the material in his or her own mind. In this mindset, print has become the most primitive form of media. It has the power to influence people and change events. Printed Journalism has played a very important position in the shaping of the nation we live in. Without it, there are a lot of things that we wouldn’t know or even have.

The Civil War proved to be an important era for print media in the United States. This is mostly because of great journalist, the telegraph, and various other inventions. The Civil War helped us people increase the demand for new technology and information during the war. There is no other way to know about new thing other than the media. With all the new improvements, there are conflicts to face as well. Printed material has affected conflicts such as the Declaration of our Independence. It has affected so many altercations in the nation for over two centuries as the most basic mass produced media that runs before the mindsets of the people and helps to alter and create the way they see the world and situations around them. Before the civil war, there still many altercations that could come to mind with the thought of the Common Sense pamphlet.

The public read Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, “Common Sense” and “The Crisis”, helped us realize that we need to fight for what’s right and our individual rights from Britain. On a larger scale, the very popular read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, helped people realize the growing conflicts of slavery and troubling discrimination before the civil war. But continuing onto the civil war, the demand of information and newspapers became more crucial. However, newspaper can only affect public opinion by as much as their reading audience is willing to commit time to read through the minute details of the news articles one the war. The American Civil War saw the rise of many new technology. This brought changes in the print and journalism field. Those working at the beginning of the civil war saw a opportunity and took it no matter how small the offer was. The Civil war was big enough to make way for an entire boom in the industry.

Newspapers in both the north and south were able to provide the public with important updates on the war’s political issues, battle results, large-scale troop movements, and casualty reports. While battle raged on America, both sides of the conflict demanded coverage of the uproaring information. In the start of war, the American press was a political, social, and economic force. Changes in journalistic and business practices since the 1830s had made a significant impact on the country’s press. The introduction of the “Penny Press” inexpensive publications aimed at a mass audience changed newspapers, which for decades had largely been editorial tools of the country’s political parties.

Newspapers were responsible for the edit of their war reports. That being said, many newspapers published biased accounts of events. Led by publications in New York City, editors recognized that readers craved news that was essential, but also news that entertained. Publications in other big cities soon followed in one the penny press model. People also didn’t just want to read but see the civil war. So, they made illustrations. During 1830s and the 1840s, some American daily penny newspapers began to occasionally included wood engravings related to news events particularly the New York Herald, which in 1845 printed the first ever full page pictorial cover in daily newspapers. Journalists were using the new invention of illustrations and mass produced printing to bring the front lines straight to readers. Journalists could create illustrations to go along with their stories.

In the south, the state of the Illustrated Press was vastly different. Before may rules were put down, New York weeklies held a wide southern readership. After the start of the war, the south was cut off from northern publications. To fill this void, the Richmond publishing firm of Ayers and Wade established the Southern Illustrated News in 1862. Nonetheless, some copies of the northern illustrated papers still managed to reach the south. In some cases, the southern papers chose to respond to specific articles published by the north press.

Such as in the case of “A Typical Negro”, which the southern press found particularly inaccurate and offensive. The reaction to this article also speaks to the ways in which the northern press’s depictions of African Americans changed over the course of war. Though in the antebellum years the papers tried to take a neutral stance or avoid slavery altogether, as the war went one they began to support emancipation and the recruitment of black troops. Visually, they traded highly caricatured depictions of African Americans for illustrations that “praised the bravery” and eagerness of the new troops. Publishing the illustrations was a hard process but even so, photographs could not be used in the civil war newspapers because a practical way of printing pictures one paper had not came out yet. Another important invention during war era America that made working for the Journalists easier was the telegraph.

The telegraph and the railroad, which had been developing rapidly since the 1840s blossomed during war, could get information from one place to another quicker than ever. The invention of the steam powered cylinder presses made it possible for newspapers and magazines to reach a bigger audience. Thousands of copies of newspapers could be turned out in an hour. And thanks to the growth of the railroad, which by mid-century linked the north and south. The legacy of the Civil War includes the modern mass circulation daily newspaper and the obsession of readers for both north and south of the Civil War. The war also reinforced the vast disparity of access to media between the two. They transformed how armies saw out war and how newspapers and magazines processed journalism. Newspapers and illustrated weeklies became large scale manufacturing enterprises in the 1860s. From the telegraph to railroads to the “milieu” ball, technological advances overall helped during the course of the war. Among this milieu of technology were lithography and photography.

During the 1840s and 1850s there was an explosion of visual culture. By the time of the Civil War, images were everywhere. Improved methods of relief and intaglio printing still had their place particularly in the illustrated press, and both lithography and photography were quickly adopted as means to document and spread word about conflict. The need for news and information was the same for readers of the north and south, but the industries of the two were completely different.

The South, with limited funds, still had newspaper that circulated information eventually. In 1860 less than 10 percent of the nation’s printing establishments were in the south. The south had 70 daily newspapers out of the 387 nationwide in 1860. Only about 20 dailies survived to the end of the war, in part because the south had only a handful of paper mills and no printing press manufacturers. One the day after the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861, the New York Herald printed 135,000 copies about the same as the entire circulation of all the daily newspapers in the south. The Civil War strengthened a advanage in publishing in the north, mostly in New York City that would continue for more than a century. The press of the Union and the Confederacy published millions of words one every pin point of the Civil War. Hundreds of reporters chronicled the fighting one land and at sea. Others reported news from the capitals of Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. They overcame numerous challenges, including uncooperative sources and the difficulty of getting their stories back to the newspapers.

In the 1850s American newspapers employed a few paid correspondents and writers, but it was during the Civil War that newspaper reporting dramatically came of age. Though newspaper reporting had never been a profession that requires specialized training or certification, during war reporters just took the professional look. The art of war reporting, then as now, required a mastery of logistics as well as of reporting and writing. Like the army generals, the journalist who covered the Civil War depended one telegraphs, railroads, and horses. The enemy’s task often achieved was to cut off all means of communication. For example, George W. Smalley of the New York Tribune, was unable to get a telegraph connection. So, he wrote what is usually considered the best story of the Battle of Antietam by the light of a small oil lamp one a military train from Baltimore to New York. If reporting for the northern newspapers was a logistical struggle, it was a nightmare for the south who had very low resources without many printing factories.

Telegraph and railroad connections were sparse and unreliable. Throughout the war, the New York Herald alone regularly had more than 40 reporters on the field of battle. In the field, correspondents endured hardships and dangerous encounters. Several newsmen were killed covering the fighting and others were captured. Although many of the accounts by correspondents honestly and amazingly chronicled the war, some newspapers were known to falsely report casualty rates or results of battle. Late in the war, confederate troops received most of their news through the papers because commanders refused to relay reports of the union victories. Tiredless newsmen went to great lengths to report stories one deadline and displayed considerable enterprise to describe the war in very detailed parts. Many of the biggest battles including, Shiloh, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg seemed to bring out some of the best work by correspondents one both North and South. This all being said, Printed Media was and played a very important part in the Civil War. Not many people know of the importance Media had back then now that it’s out of hand in present day. So, with the research I have done, I conclude that Printed Media was ever so important then as it is now.

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