World Press Freedom Day: Joseph Pulitzer’s model
To commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2022, the U.S. Consulate General, in partnership with the Media Career Development Network, recently hosted a month-long program to celebrate investigative journalists and the freedom of the press around the world. Yours truly was one of more than 50 reporters who converged on the American corner of the Consulate in Lagos. As part of the side attractions, the program included the screening of the documentary “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People”.
The majority of the events in the over 1.5 hour documentary took place in New York, although some neighboring states of the United States were briefly mentioned. One can see the activities of the press (with its large readership), politics, governance and the voices of the people. The hustle and bustle of the populated city and the pollution of the environment are clearly captured.
Born in 1847, Joseph Pulitzer was a Hungarian immigrant to the United States. He enlisted as a soldier to participate in the American Civil War. He would later become a journalist, working for various newspapers and later, an editor, philanthropist and politician. The documentary is an explanatory narrative in that it captures the stage at which technology was in the production of Pulitzer’s Diaries. It was the era of rigorous newspaper production; the use of typewriters and the offset press, the cutting and pasting of newspaper titles as well as the manual planning of pages. Although funding his papers was a great challenge, Joseph stood up for and stood with the people. In addition to covering politics, his newspaper The World reported on the dirty nature of the environment, people’s well-being, sports, clothing and styles which later attracted him to numerous advertisements in support of the production and overhead. He wrote about dress etiquette and lifestyles and brought the government’s attention to the corruption and filthy nature of New York City. By the mid-1890s, the newspaper’s circulation per edition exceeded 400,000 copies as supplies were extended to neighboring states and cities. In 1898, the “war” between the Hearst Newspaper owned by William Randolph, another leading journalist, and The World (Joseph’s morning and evening papers) culminated Joseph’s journalistic career as he found more creative ways to retain and expand readership. Thus, the introduction of weekend cartoons to the yellow pages led to the coining of the phrase “yellow journalism”.
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Despite Joseph’s love of sensationalism, he has made no secret of his hatred for fake news. He was quite factual in his reporting. He believed in the doctrine of journalism that “the people should be kept accurately informed” and should not be misled by parochial tendencies. With the introduction of sensations, comic cartoons and investigative reporting, his newspapers became sources of information, education and entertainment for readers. One of the factors that contributed greatly to the success of Joseph’s Journalism Odyssey is that he was the publisher, editor and reporter at the same time, although supported by other staff members who he hired. Even though he used his journals to set an agenda for the Senate, he was able to separate being a politician from being a journalist. His active involvement in politics, house styles and the editorial content of his newspaper gave him a pedestal to pursue his causes to commendable conclusions. The documentary informed that when his newspaper was taken to court by the government, he was still able to pursue the case in the highest court where the case was decided in favor of its publication “for the public good “.
The life and times of a man who sacrificed everything he had for the good of the people. Being an immigrant should not limit one’s potential and promote success. Joseph never let being an outsider affect his psyche. He put his eyes on the ball to bring his big beliefs to life. Knowledge of a subject or profession is not enough. Creativity holds the leaders of the competition in the market. Thanks to his professional creativity, until the twilight of his life, Joseph Pulitzer was a millionaire with a net worth of over $30 million. Even with challenges of eye problems and depression in his later years that did not allow him to continue writing his journals, he was still passionately in control of content and professionalism as he demanded that planned stories be read at his audition. before each edition. put in bed. The greatest achievement of humans is to immortalize their name after death. Joseph Pulitzer’s endowment at Columbia University’s School of Journalism remains a milestone in the observance of World Press Freedom Day to this day.
- Katib teaches journalism and public relations courses at Crescent University and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org