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Author Tucher, Andie.

Title Froth & scum : truth, beauty, goodness, and the ax murder in America's first mass medium / Andie Tucher
Published Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1994]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (ix, 257 pages) : illustrations
Contents pt. 1. Fighting for the truth -- The penny press is born -- On public duty -- Who was Aspasia? -- Who killed Helen Jewett? -- Truth or humbuggery? -- The truth about humbug -- Murderous conventions -- Getting away with murder -- The end of the affair -- pt. 2. From humbug to authority -- Death of a printer -- A new face -- A war of morals, a clash of cultures -- For the virtuous and refined -- Greeley expounds on murder -- The human race advances -- The new improved Herald misses a story -- In search of James Gordon Fishblatt
Summary As they do now, crime stories of the time aroused strong feelings about the possibility of justice, the privileges of power, and the nature of evil. The prostitute's murder in 1836 sparked an impassioned public debate, but one newspaper's "impartial investigation" pleased the powerful by helping the killer go free. Colt's 1841 murder of the tradesman inspired universal condemnation, but the newspapers' singleminded focus on his conviction allowed another secret criminal to escape. By examining media coverage of these two sensational murders, Tucher reveals how a community's needs and anxieties can shape its public truths. The manuscript of this book won the 1991 Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians
Two notorious antebellum New York murder cases - a prostitute slashed in an elegant brothel and a tradesman bludgeoned by the brother of inventor Samuel Colt - set off journalistic scrambles over the meanings of truth, objectivity, and the duty of the press that reverberate to this day. In 1833 an entirely new kind of newspaper - cheap, feisty, and politically independent - introduced American readers to the novel concept of what has come to be called objectivity in news coverage. The penny press was the first medium that claimed to present the true, unbiased facts to a democratic audience. But in Froth and Scum, Andie Tucher explores - and explodes - the notion that "objective" reporting will discover a single, definitive truth
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 235-244) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Journalism -- Objectivity -- United States.
Journalistic ethics -- United States.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585003815 (electronic bk.)
0807866016 (electronic bk.)
9780585003818 (electronic bk.)
9780807866016 (electronic bk.)
(cloth ; alk. paper)
(paperback; alk. paper)
(cloth ; alk. paper)
(paperback; alk. paper)
Other Titles Froth and scum