Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day #113: Researching the Newspapers of the Wild West

Last night I spent an hour reading newspapers from Arizona in the 1870s. I've been kicking around the idea of writing about journalism during the days of the Old West. I have only the vaguest of ideas so far. I want to see where the research takes me.

So far, I've read a few from Tucson and a few Tombstone. Some of it is familiar to what we see in today's media: advertisements, local events, political jargon about candidates. But there are a few differences. They write about Native Americans in a very hostile way (using the word "savages" more than a few times). huge mysteries such as unexplained murders are casually mentioned in a few sentences at the bottom of a page. There's a lot of information for gold miners.

Ultimately, they mix opinion and fact way more than journalists should... although maybe that actually is similar to today's media.

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