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Journalistic Contributions of Horace Greeley - Essay Example

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Journalistic Contributions of Horace Greeley

Greeley's editorial and journalistic talent coupled with his political activity (he actively supported the Whig party) contributed to the success of the edition. In 1940 Horace Greeley became the head of the campaign weekly, the Log Cabin and contributed to William Henry Harrison's victory in presidential elections.
Only having got the experience, increasing authority and a large audience, Horace Greeley founded the newspaper that became the most read edition in the southern states, the New York Tribune. It covered such fields as politics, social reforms and news. Via this newspaper Horace Greeley spread the communitarian ideas of Fourier, defended homestead principle of distributing free government land to settlers and other agrarian reforms and attacked the exploitation of wage labour. Sympathizing to settlers Greeley advised to "Go West, young man" (notwithstanding the fact that this phrase was initially written by John Soul in the Terre Haute Express in 1851, it is usually attributed to Greeley).
Being sincere in his political views Horace Greeley founded a real tribune from which he could propagate his political ideas and convictions. In a shot period of time the daily circulation of the newspaper grew up to ten thousand in 1841 and to 300 thousand in 1861 (one should take into account that a newspaper was often read by a dozen of readers at the time). The historian Allan Nevins explains the enormous success of The Tribune: "The Tribune set a new standard in American journalism by its combination of energy in news gathering with good taste, high moral standards, and intellectual appeal. Police reports, scandals, dubious medical advertisements, and flippant personalities were barred from its pages; the editorials were vigorous but usually temperate; the political news was the most exact in the city; book reviews and book-extracts were numerous; and as an inveterate lecturer Greeley gave generous space to lectures. The paper appealed to substantial and thoughtful people."
He continued to oppose the exploitation of wage labour, criticized monopolies and advocated the abolition of capital punishment. The articles and editorials Greeley wrote reflected the strategies of political flows he supported. In general all his professional activity was extremely influenced by his background and his current political views. And this sincere and strong belief in the right of his ideas made his journalistic style sharp, open and pathetic. His editorials were often reprinted by smaller newspapers.
Opposing slavery, Horace Greeley was interested in feminist and socialist ideas as well. He maintained contact with Karl Marx, who being in London wrote the articles for the Tribune. Greeley called him "an instructive source of information".
Having joined the Radical Party, Greeley supported Lincoln. When the war he took the Radical Republican position and criticized Lincoln's hesitating political course, his incapability to make the slavery the principal issue of the war, digression of the main political course in favour of moral principles. On 19th August, 1862 Greeley wrote an open letter to the president, and published it in the Tribune. In this famous and bold letter Greeley expressed a strong disappointment in ...Show more

Summary

Born in the family of a New England farmer Horace Greeley never had an opportunity to get a profound education. Never ending financial difficulties in the family made him stop his education when he was 14. But it didn't prevent him from becoming a self-made personality and a brilliant journalist.
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Journalistic Contributions of Horace Greeley essay example
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