Saturday, October 22, 2011

Digitized Newspapers & Yellow Journalism

I better get on here and do a couple posts. Where have I been? Busy with work and family but I always keep plugging away at the historical interests even if I don't get to the blog in a timely manner. I know a couple of you have emailed but not heard back from me. I have not forgotten you.

I have mentioned before that I use to pick up old papers related to the Haywood trial and other historical events but rarely do so anymore. Digitized sites continue to proliferate and have eliminated the often arduous task of trying to store and preserve brittle old newsprint. Many are free to access (those below) and others may charge a fee.

One just has to keep in mind that many of the newspapers of that period were owned and published by individuals with a particular agenda that was often evident in the reporting and headlines. Examples would be Joseph Pulitzer and William R. Hearst and so called yellow journalism. Never happens today—right?

I just finished a good read on the subject, The War Lovers-Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, And The Rush To Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas. This is all part of my continuing interest in the Spanish-American War, the 1st Idaho Infantry, the weaponry of that period and the participation of George E. Steunenberg (pic to the right). One could say that the author, Evan Thomas, was pushing an agenda too. I thought his historical accounts were very good but certainly he was sufficiently provocative to raise many questions on the subject of war mongering—be it in 1898 or more recently.

I won't start in on the subject here (OK, maybe just a tad bit) but I do think we still need to have a national discussion/debate on the modern definition of war and the parameters for determining the use of the American military. Looking back and learning and reflecting on the lessons of history is relevant. That also holds true when we examine the historical news coverage relating to the issues of labor versus capital. Some things never change but they do become far more complicated by a modern, more dangerous and immediately connected society with a twenty-four hour news cycle.

OK, I have danced around on that subject enough. Email if you want to debate/discuss more directly.

Below is a sample of links to a few digital newspaper sites that I have used with "Steunenberg" as the search topic. The name always makes for an easy search as anything that shows up is going to be related. Read some of the Haywood trial coverage or about George and tell us what you think.

Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection (you will need to search by individual papers)

New York Times Archives

Utah Digital Newspapers-Steunenberg

California Digital Newspaper Collection

Library of Congress-Chronicling America

Google Newspapers

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