Academic journal article Journalism History

Pulitzer and What He Prized

Academic journal article Journalism History

Pulitzer and What He Prized

Article excerpt

"Pulitzer and What He Prized." New York, NY: JVL Productions, 1996, 1:35.

Joseph Pulitzer was one of the giants of American newspaper publishers and, as such, has received considerable attention in books, popular articles, as well as journal pieces and conference papers. Certainly, the acclaim is well deserved, particularly for Pulitzer's guidance of the St. Louis PostDispatch and the New York World.

Now comes "Pulitzer and What He Prized" An enthralling documentary, this is a perfect complement for mass communication history courses when dealing with newspapers in the late Nineteenth Century and the early Twentieth Century. It utilizes numerous drawings, photographs, and paintings obtained from a wide variety of sources to show clearly the dizzying upward spin that gripped papers, particularly in the Yellow Journalism era, and the excitement that was engendered as they reported, sometimes almost breathlessly, on a burgeoning nation.

The documentary, directed by Joan Kraft, has several strong points. Not the least of these is the juxtaposition of Pulitzer's interesting and somewhat bizarre life with his many health problems. Narrator Gerriane Raphael is an excellent storyteller, and one's interest never flags. Moreover, details are placed in a correct historical context Woven into the documentary are explanations of how and why America was rapidly changing during this period and the enormous role that wealth played in developing the national character.

Also impressive is the evenhandedness of the presentation. Based on the title, one might think that the film is only an attempt to honor Pulitzer. A long introduction does suggest this. …

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