New media have accelerated the development of political “echo chambers” that limit people’s exposure to information that contradicts their ideological preferences. These new media platforms also enable ordinary citizens to surface news from sources that mainstream journalists would otherwise miss and serve as eyewitnesses to events.
Weaver suggests that reverting to pre-Pulitzer journalism is impossible, but he offers reforms that could improve the quality and reliability of news coverage.
When Scottish hat manufacturer James Wilson founded The Economist in 1843, he wanted it to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence and ignorance.” The publication’s original prospectus stated that it would publish articles based on the elementary principles of political economy, particularly free trade. It later evolved into a weekly magazine, and today it has a broad coverage of international news, politics, business, science, technology, and culture. Its editorial independence is protected by its constitution, which forbids any individual or organization from gaining a majority shareholding. The newspaper does not publish bylines, instead relying on the collective voice of its journalists to maintain its identity.
The Economist’s editorial stance revolves around classical and radical centrism, and it often champions economic liberalism. It is known for its rigorous fact-checking and careful copy editing. Its high subscription prices and depth of content have linked it to a rich and educated readership. Its prominence on globalisation and its advocacy of limited government intervention in economic affairs have drawn criticism from other publications and from readers.
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The New York Times
The New York Times is one of the most famous newspapers in the world. Founded in 1851, it is based in New York City and has a loyal readership internationally. It was established as a penny paper with an editorial policy that emphasized truth and avoiding sensationalism. The newspaper was often considered a model for the future of journalism.
In the 1860s the paper took on an increasingly liberal tone, including supporting civil rights and women’s suffrage. The Times was also involved in a high-profile court case that supported the freedom of the press. The New York Times is known for its excellent reporting on politics, economics, and culture.
Its founders were Henry Jarvis Raymond, a reporter who had worked for Horace Greeley on the New York Tribune, and George Jones, a wealthy Albany banker. They wanted to create a newspaper that would be different from yellow journalism, which emphasized crime, scandal, and radical politics.
During the civil war, The Times was critical of Union policies and opposed slavery. The newspaper also reported on the Draft Riots, which were a series of protests by working-class Manhattan residents against Congress’s draft laws.
Adolph Simon Ochs bought The New York Times in 1896 and instituted a number of changes to the paper, including adding the slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” He increased staff, reduced prices, and added a Sunday magazine section. He also imposed a strict adherence to high editorial standards and increased the company’s financial strength.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is a daily newspaper that serves the nation’s capital and is known for its political coverage. It is one of the most highly-circulated newspapers in the United States, along with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The Post’s extensive reporting on the White House, Congress, and other aspects of the federal government has earned it national acclaim. It has also won many awards, including 22 Pulitzer Prizes and 18 Nieman Fellowships. The company also publishes Newsweek, a weekly news magazine, and operates several cable television systems, educational centers to prepare students for standardized college-admission exams, and an online legislative-information service.
The Post’s executive editor Ben Bradlee put the paper’s reputation and resources behind reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who in a long series of articles chipped away at the story behind the 1972 burglary of Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex (Woodward remains at The Post today). The resulting investigation played a large role in the resignation of President Richard Nixon and won The Washington Post a Pulitzer Prize in 1973. The Post has often taken liberal stances on political issues, but it has also occasionally taken conservative positions, such as its support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and opposition to partial privatization of Social Security and free trade agreements.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal was founded in July 1889 and has been one of the most influential newspapers worldwide since. Its journalists have covered the birth of countless industries; two world wars and numerous conflicts; profound advances in science and technology; and revolutionary social movements. The newspaper’s editorial and news sections have been awarded thirty-seven Pulitzer Prizes.
The Journal’s editorial page is widely viewed as adhering to American conservatism and economic liberalism. It has a pro-market approach to economic issues and a generally neoconservative view of foreign policy. It has also published many articles opposing restrictive immigration policies.
During its early years, the Journal was heavily influenced by founder Charles Dow’s no-nonsense approach to reporting. He demanded that reporters avoid political bias and stick to the facts. This strict editorial policy helped to set the paper apart from other newspapers at the time.
Today, the Journal is a global business and financial publication. Its news coverage covers domestic and international politics, the economy, banking, culture, and sports. The newspaper also publishes an extensive selection of opinion pieces, including op-eds and editorials. The WSJ attempts to properly label its news and editorial pieces, and it claims to prioritize a clear distinction between fact and opinion.
The WSJ is owned by Dow Jones & Company, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Its content is available online in both print and digital formats.