The present research explores the levels of sensational news reporting in three distinct periods of journalism history by examining the largest mainstream newspaper in America, The New York Times, during the yellow journalism, jazz journalism and modern eras. The front pages of a representative sample of the newspaper were analyzed to determine the extent to which prominence of sensational news topics in the modern press differs from that of the yellow and jazz eras. The style of sensational reporting was examined to determine if the treatment of news has changed. The results of a content analysis indicate that readers are exposed to less sensational news today in the Times than in the same newspaper of the yellow and jazz eras.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

New York Times--History; Sensationalism in journalism; Journalism--United States--History

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Communication (CLA)


Bruce Austin

Advisor/Committee Member

Loret Gnivecki Steinberg


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at PN4784.S4 M37 2006


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