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This research paper is based on the America's Newspapers over the Years through an elaborative comparison of three different eras of News paper, namely; 1860s, 1915 and 1960s. By going through one week's worth of newspapers in the different years there are notable differences and variations of the paper in attempts to improve both the quality and the quantity of the information carried in the papers and the manner in which it is expressed. An approximate of fifty years has been taken to differentiate the three eras of the analyzed newspapers. By going through the distinct papers, it is easy to tell the disparities of the papers and the kind of evolvement that the newspapers have undertaken. One way is that the papers have been analyzed is based on the contents they carried, the tone of presentation, the volume of the entire paper and the subject matter of the information carried in these papers. Features such as the advertising put on those papers, the language of print and the kind of stories featured in these Newspapers have been discussed in detail.
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The first era of the papers that have been analyzed was in the year 1860s and a few years before and after this time for the purpose of clarifications. During this time the major topic that dominated the newspapers was the civil war in the United States that ended in 1961. Looking at a copy of the New York times on 11th June 1863, one of the outstanding articles in this copy of the newspaper read, "Negro Soldiers-The Question Settled and its Consequences". This was one of the many articles that the newspapers carried regarding the civil that was happening at the time. During this time majority of the newspapers carried information on the civil war and this was the main subject matter of the most of these papers. The history of the war, the politics as well as other individual stories continued to be featured in the paper even in the years that followed. At the time, the kind of language that the newspapers used was low as compared to the later dates that had included improved aspects of journalism and other features.
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One would have issues on the arrangement of the articles in the paper, the font, columns and the general organization of the paper to appear decent and attractive to the readers in this era. The font of the paper was large, the paper had a lot of columns (The New York daily Tribune had six at the time), and the general organization during the 1860s needed a lot of upgrading. The content and the subject matter of the newspapers at this time were not as expounded as the later copies in the subsequent eras. A newspaper at the time could carry articles of that if carried a century later in the last errors, it would appear irreverent based on the subject matter as well as some of the contents featured in the newspapers of the time.
A careful analysis of a whole week newspaper in 1860 (12th July to 19th July) indicated that that there was quite similar sources of the news that the newspapers featured, the reports seemed to employ similar methods to obtain uniform news values and this included the editors too in the different regions across the country, despite the wide range of political, social, and economic widening that were caused by the Civil War in America, the content of the newspapers was the same during this era. The kind of research on the sources of news that was used to constitute the articles of the news papers as not as thorough as it was the case for the later eras and this is one reason why the credibility of some of news featured in these newspapers at the time was questionable. Universal political, collective, as well as the intellectual and cultural news were featured in the three eras discussed but in this era most of the news were political and social due to the influence of the civil war. During this age most of the newspapers did not feature international news coverage in a perfect way as it is in the subsequent eras. This is because the kind of journalism machinery and resources that was being employed to propel the papers at this early age was behind the technological developments in the later stage. Most of the newspapers featured local news at the time and articles featuring international news were actually very rare at the time (The Editor 1).
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Taking a look at the formatting of the news paper that characterized the period around 1915 entire presentation was a bit variant in regard to a number of the newspaper spheres. But some aspects like the partitioning of the paper into columns were the same except for the fact that the size of the column was a bit bigger and hence educing the number of columns per page. In regard to he headlines they were written in bolds just as it was 50 years back from then only that the size was a bit variant and probably a bit bigger may be for the purpose of creating a distinction between the normal text and these headlines and subtopics (Guardian Pub 14). In regard to features such as advertisements they did not appear at the front few number of pages but rather appeared at the extreme end and mostly the back pages of the news paper. The format that these advertisements followed in regard to their positioning was that they appeared at the far right end of the paper from top to bottom whereas the rest of the area in each sheet of paper was covered in text.
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The level of grammar that was used was also a bit enhanced compared to the grammar that was used 50 years back from this period in regard to the level of the vocabulary that was used. To take an example of one issue that was discussed in the paper, the article in the Graham Guardian dated 1st January, 1914 had issued an ultimatum in which General Bliss of the United States had expressed his loss of patient in regard to the fighting in which the Mexicans were involved. General Bliss had ordered that if another bullet was to fall on the United States Soil the he was going to take action (Guardian Pub 12). Remember this was the period in which the rumors of the world war were a it hot on the air and aggression of states was not taken lightly. In the delivery of the message the article has one big headline followed by three other smaller sub-headings all in bold but varying in size. The message that is passed by this article carried a tone that was rather solid and so direct and can be said to be a bit harsh.
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In most of the articles that explores in the Graham Guardian, business was a major feature in almost of the paper that I explored and so were the country's politics. The tone that was used in driving home the message was some how conversational as if the author of an article is directly addressing some one who is addressing another face to face (Guardian Pub 34). For instance in an article dated 3rd of January 1915 the article was addressing the making of international power treaties arguing that there was nothing distinct in socialistic advocacy for the treaties that were a major routine which characterized many nations.
Another article in the same week was addressing the issue of democracy and socialism and popular enlightenment. Socialist ideologies and measures aimed at democratizing international politics and addressing matters of national defense. The issue of democracy seemed to be treated with a lot of weight as this is what many of the western countries were trying hard to achieve and of which most of the countries were struggling (Guardian Pub 67). While most of the political institutions especially in Europe had responded more or less promptly to claims of democracy which was advancing at a high rate the method of adjustment in regard to international relations had not altered since the medieval periods and were not fully practicable.
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A further analysis at the three publications in the three different time-lines reveals a serious variation in the kind of the grammar that has been used in the years (Peer, 1). This essentially reveals the evolution of the English language that has been observed over the years. In fact a casual glance at a copy from the three respective ages that I have used as my focus will tell the exact time that the publication might have been penned, in this case 1860s, 1910s and 1960s. Other than variations brought about by changing time I have also observed variations that reflect regional differences either in the storyline at any given moment or language and ethnic diversity of that particular region, variation which I strongly belief can be explained by differences in pronunciation between different region in the United States. For instance, the gradual change in language that has I have mentioned in course of the three time period might be attributed to the migration of people in those creation, which also one of the factors that have been attributed to the changing dialect and language in the united states. a god example being the variations in areas that have been observing increasing population of African American or Latino Americans (Peer, 2).
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A careful analysis also exposes a trend in the visual images that have been employed in the respective publication in those periods. For instance, it is no wonder to find a full page covered by visual images that is no necessarily an advertisement(s) but one enriching an article (Peer, 2). Another notable feature of the post-1800 era newspaper are full-page advertising that are almost made-up of visual images and very scant information in between the lines of the ads as can be seen in the March 5th 1916 New York tribune publication ( Pg. 45). Looking carefully at the arrangement of the visual pictures accompanying an article in the three time-periods one is left with no doubt that variations exist. One of the things that I have noted with 1860s newspapers is the completeness and exhaustiveness of narration that have been featured. Going fast forward in the early 1900s we find an introduction of brevity in narration that seems to reach its peak in the 1960s. The fact that there is no credible reason as to occasion that sort of brevity that seems to have reached its peak in 1960s only reinforces the existence of a slow metamorphosis in the language itself.
I have also realized that the variation in content that I have commented about previously has more to do with the size of space that has been devoted on the likes of politics, crime, business, and sport in the respective period. For instance, in the 186os politic seem to have dominated that period newspaper, which was not the case with the subsequent ages (Peer, 3). Sport on the other hand seem to have gained prominence in later years which can be explained by the large spaces that is accorded to it in the 1960s. I strongly belief that there must been a relationship between content and the market variables, otherwise the variation over the years reflect the respective and changing demand of those contents over the periods.
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The increasing size of newspapers is something that is worth a mention, an important thing to note about this increasing size of newspaper over the year is its effect on the amount of content and also it brevity in relation to the size. For instance, I have noted the large size, which like I have mentioned earlier, the exhaustiveness of the newspapers of the 1860s and the reduced size of the publication and the corresponding brevity of the newspapers of later years. Also noteworthy is the emphasis that is being accorded to top stories by almost all newspapers of the 1860s which only differ as time progresses. For instance, perusing through the 1860s newspaper one can be excused of thinking that they are from one company, simply because of the near similar narrations. However those of 1960s contrast greatly with them by the way they seem to have a large pool of stories to feature at any given time. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the degree of competition was connected to emphasis that was accorded the content. In a nutshell there is serious case of a changing and evolving newspaper over the years which can only be attributed to the dynamism of a combination of reporting, changing times, and profession.