ERIC Number: ED188228
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Pen and Sword: Reporting the Spanish American War.
Mander, Mary S.
Documents about the conditions and problems faced by the reporters of the Spanish-American War show that this war was particularly difficult to report, and that a historical misconception exists about journalism of the 1890s. Efforts to understand the reportage of the late nineteenth century in the United States are complicated by what has been written about the Spanish-American War itself. Since most historians dealt with the conflict after World War I, the war with Spain paled in comparison and was not handled with the seriousness or depth of perception it deserved. Some historians of journalism have been especially narrow minded and arrogant in their assessment of this historical period, reflecting the attitudes that the so-called upper classes of the nineteenth century United States had about the middle and working classes. Facts have been presented to divest the war correspondent of stereotypical traits and to document the problems involved in covering the Cuban uprising. Part of the misconceived stereotyping of the press is due in part to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the terms "romantic" war reporter on "display"--the tendency of reporters to arrange themselves in eye-catching backdrops of battle scenes for journalistic merchandising. What must be realized is that the "romantic" news report of the 1890s was meant to be much like romance literature, demonstrating clearly the accepted values of the American community in real life adventures. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Spanish American War
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).