In the US back in the 19th century, the growth of urbanization and literacy among the population saw the establishment of papers that not only met the commercial and political needs of high end subscribers but also the needs of the lower class readers. The newspaper became a mirror reflecting the happenings of the society to its readers. When I consider the development of papers within the US Market, the establishment of the New York Sun by Benjamin Day, is worth of mention.
The paper that peaked to over 5000 circulation copies four months after its inception in 1833, presented news without political bias. According to Ken Ward, “treated all news as of equal importance.” It covered suicides, theatre and book reviews, and every day occurrences. Hard news as well as sensational pieces were packaged to meet the needs of readers. This expansion in content attracted advertisers that used the medium to reach a growing population; the Sun proved that advertisers can fund papers.
This success inspired the creation of additional papers within the US and served as the cornerstone to modern day journalism. “The Sun was the first successful penny daily newspaper in the US.” By 1834, the Sun had the largest circulation in the US and introduced advertisements, reports and sensational coverage. The Sun in its glory days was subbed as “the newspaperman’s newspaper” because of its extensive coverage of human interest stories.
When I consider the progressive success of the Sun, I am encouraged, as a student.
I am reminded that one can look beyond the ordinary and attain success…Benjamin looked beyond the statistics of newspapers and pursued his dream passionately…I’m also reminder that one can go beyond the norms of media and news reporting and attain success…The Sun has many “first’s” and they did not result from drawing within the lines…they came as a result of daring to go against the norm…in strategic ways.
The success of many newspapers including the Sun, came as a result of trial and error, persistence and innovative, daring acts and solutions. Now that is a recipe for success that upcoming writers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and PR strategists can cook….