Yellow Journalism and Sensationalism


For those who don’t know, yellow journalism is exaggerating or sensationalizing things. In the late 19th century it was used in two newspapers, the New York World and the New York Journal, to build profits. This was around the time of the Spanish War and the New York Journal was offering a $50,000 reward for “the Detection Of the Perpetrator of the Maine Outrage”. In the picture below you can see a picture of the original paper from 1898.


 Sensationalization can also be described as over-hyping things and falsifying things for a more interesting story. Another example of yellow journalism is telling the story only from the underdogs perspective. Think of it this way: if a poor person got treated badly by someone rich, the newspapers might only tell the poor person’s story instead of telling both sides of the story. This, among other things, can cause real problems. According to Sensationalism in the Media: When Scientists and Journalists May Be Complicit Collaborators by David F. Ransohoff, MD and Richard M. Ransohoff, MD “Distorted journalistic reports can generate both false hopes and unwarranted fears.” This article is saying that sensationalism and yellow journalism can create problems and put unnecessary fear in people and this can be bad. 


To conclude, yellow journalism and sensationalism are bad things and should not be used by journalists.