Yellow Journalism

No epithet in American journalism is quite as familiar, flexible, or widely invoked as “yellow journalism.” The term was coined as a calculated sneer in the late the 19th century and lives on as shorthand for journalistic failings of all kinds. “Yellow journalism” is often equated to sensational treatment of the news, and to dressing up fakes and falsehoods as fact. It is an emphatic term of disparagement that slides easily off the tongue. It is an American idiom that resonates widely abroad, having found use in countries as diverse as Mexico, Thailand, Sierra Leone, Egypt, India, and France. Whether it’s articulated overseas or in the United States, almost no one who invokes “yellow journalism” knows much about its origins or the practices it corresponded ...

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