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Reporting Back In The Day….



Reporting is something that is done everyday for many different things all over the world. This day in age there are so many different reporters and there are so many different ways to report. There is the internet, TV, newspapers, magazines, and many other different ways out there for people to get their news. Today’s ways of reporting is a lot different from back in the 1830s. The 1830s was an important time for reporting and it produced stuff that will never be forgotten and the affected how reporting is produced today.

When most people think about the 1830s and news reporting, the famous penny press papers come to mind. In 1833, the Penny Press became a phenomenon in New York City where Benjamin Day, the publisher of the New York Sun, used new technologies, increased ad revenues and clever editorial choices to create the first newspaper specifically designed for the common man and woman. The penny press papers grew as another option to the regular standard papers that were out and they were cheaper, being only a penny. The penny press papers really made the lower classes able to afford this and understand what news was going on instead of just the upper class people being able to get the daily insight from all over the nation. Not only did it attract a new audience, it generated different ideas. The penny press wanted to pay more attention to local stories and concentrate more on things going on in that town rather than just national news. The people who bought these papers were more interested in crimes and police stories than other softer type of story.  While other papers had to relay on subscriptions for money, the penny press would have advertisements and that’s where they would get most of their revenue from. This is what really started that whole era that we are use  to today with ads. Mr. Benjamin H. Day said this on top of his paper. “The object of this paper is to lay before the public, at a price within the means of every one, all the news of the day, and at the same time offer an advantageous medium for advertisements.” ( The penny press would eventually go on to cover its first war. They soon found their perfect subject in the U.S.-Mexican War, and the war became the first to be covered widely in newspapers. Many editorial writers of the Penny Press, including Brooklyn Eagle and editor Walt Whitman, used
their newspapers as soapboxes to drum up support for the war.

Edgar Allan Poe  is one of the most famous writers in the 1800s. American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, maybe considered the guy to really take the  American Romantic Movement to the next level. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. Some would say that he was a weird man. His writings were very different from others and he ended up marrying his cousin. A very controversial figure, Poe has been the subject of much speculative analysis. Generally, his biographers conclude that his instability as a person was in part due to the pressure of being a journalist. He brought many different ideas to the table. I think the life he lived effected his writings and had an effect on how he was as a whole. His father randomly left and he went threw many different points in life where he would experience being poor. The man really had hard times in his life and threw his writings I think everyone could see deep down that he was in pain.

When thinking about Edgar Allan Poe and how his ideas really went with reporting, I think Poes ideas did affect reporting at that time period. In the 1800s, as I said above, people were sick of the same old stuff and wanted something different. People wanted to hear about crime or about the cops. They wanted drama and I believe  Poe may have helped bring that side more to reporting in the 1800s. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,”
Published in April 1841, this story featured Auguste C. Dupin, the first-ever fictional detective. Poe’s “tale of rationation,” as he termed it, inaugurated one of the most popular and entertaining forms of fiction ever conceived. The story is about a double murder which takes place in the streets of Paris. The story surrounds the baffling double murder of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter in the Rue Morgue. This story goes on to really try and solve this case and many people praise this story as being one of its first of its kind. Upon its release, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and its author were praised for the creation of a new profound novelty. The Pennsylvania Inquirer printed that “it proves Mr. Poe to be a man of genius… with an inventive power and skill, of which we know no parallel.” I really think the stories like these went on to help the reporting world to go out and find more stories like this and to publish these stories to the public because this is what they really wanted.


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