Mass Media, Political Strife and the Nineteenth Century Essay examples

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"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands." –Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891. The quote above sums up the past and present influence of the media on human societies. Humans have a tendency to look for the justifications for their ridiculous actions whether for the benefit of a group, the spread of their ideology, or sheer greed. In creating these justifications, some form of media must be used in order for it to take hold of a given society. The invention of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century, acting as a preamble, led from one event to another such as the …show more content…
By the 1860s, newspaper correspondents were sent to cover wars and politics in distant lands while railroads and telegrams made it easier to send reports back to their editors (Berenson 24 & 25). In the United States during this same period, Summers notes that politics was at its zenith in terms of the amount of news and political amusement that was spread (25). Following the Civil War, newspapers had a profound effect on political partisanship (Summers 26). This partisan politics had a notorious effect, after 1865, in exacerbating repugnant racism in the southern states during the Reconstruction Era and thereafter. The political strife that exists in the US government today was also another unforeseen consequence. Another example of the mass media's influence in enforcing Western ideals was the experience of Henry Morgan Stanley in the Congo in the 1870s. Working for the New York Herald, Berenson states that Stanley "was the first major overseas correspondent to adopt the new sensationalist, voyeuristic style, emphasizing as he did his dangerous, suspenseful adventures, violent "savage" peoples, and the awe and mystery of uncharted, exotic terrain. He took his readers to far-off locales, narrating his escapades as he experienced them, leaving his audience in breathless anticipation as to what would happen in the next dispatch"(28). On 27 October 1871, he uttered the famous quote, "Dr.

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