Weaver study: Homogenous news judgment predated telegraph, syndication
News organizations across the country emphasized similar stories even before the introduction of the telegraph and syndicated news services, distinguished professor emeritus David Weaver found in a content analysis of news articles from daily newspapers in capital cities between 1820 and 1860.
Weaver presented his paper, “U.S. Newspaper Content from 1820 to 1860: A Mirror of the Times?”, co-authored with Donald Lewis Shaw, at the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expansion on Nov. 8 at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The study found that the papers downplayed news about abolition and slavery, sectional differences and U.S. expansion compared to other news.