Newsboys in antebellum New York and elsewhere were embroiled in all the major conflicts of their day, becoming mixed metaphors for enterprise and annoyance.
Nearly 1,800 newspapers have died since 2004, creating “news deserts” across the country. At many remaining journals, cuts have been so deep that they've become “ghost papers.” What are the implications for democracy?
In September 1862 the New York Tribune ran a masterly account of the Battle of Antietam. Here were no vague claims of “Great and Glorious Victory” or “Great Slaughter of the Rebels.” Instead, the paper offered six columns of accurate, forceful prose—and got it to the readers less than thirty-six hours after the fight.
In Clare Briggs’s cartoons nobody got chased by twenty cops, nobody broke a plank over the boss’s head, nobody’s eyes popped out on springs. People just acted the way people do, and as a result, the drawings still make us laugh.