Jazz Journalism, the Story of the Tabloid Newspapers

Jazz journalism was the time that followed yellow journalism.

The period lasted from 1919–1924. Jazz journalism sometimes covered themes such as Hollywood, sex, violence, and money, with an emphasis on the photos rather than the actual writing.

Short history listenJoseph Medill Patterson owned a paper called The New York Daily News and is credited for the beginning of this type of journalism.

It was followed by William Randolph Hearst’s New York Daily Mirror.

Joseph Pulitzer and Hearst extended yellow journalism into tabloid journalism with an emphasis on sex, violence, murder, and celebrity affairs.

Papers like the New York Daily News used a unique style of large headlines, big images, and short, straight to the point writing.

One famous account of this type of journalism can be found in 1928. A New York Daily News reporter took a photo of Ruth Snyder, secretly, as she was being electrocuted at Sing Sing prison.

Originally, tabloid journalism put a heave emphasis on blood and gore. It was replaced by emotional stories, celebrity gossip, psychic tales, religious anecdotes, and various bizarre accounts once supermarket sales became the major seller.

As far as advertisements, they would mostly contain ads for soaps, various creams, ointments, etc.

According to the Jazz Journalists Association, In 1987, “jazz journalism” was the term taken by a coterie of writers, photographers and broadcasters concerned professionally with jazz who met in Chicago and subsequently founded the Jazz Journalists Association. The JJA is active in fomenting higher profile in the media of jazz and the people who criticize, photograph and/or broadcast it on radio, television and online platforms.