Friday, May 8, 2009

The Great War Finally Over

As the American nation was head deep in a bloody world war in the early 20th century, the idea of a final end brought many Americans overwhelming relief that life will once again be at peace. When the war finally ended in November 11 1918, the early news coverage joined in the celebration and provided the public with needed information on the resolution of the war. The San Francisco Chronicle published an article with a huge bold headline saying “Great War Over” and describes San Francisco shouting in joy. As the associated press provided the great news to the nation, the article described “It was just like New Years eve. Everybody was happy. Old men and young women and young women and old men marched side by side.” The New York Times article “War Ends at 6 O’clock” declared the official surrender of the German army saying the “State department announced at 2:45 O’clock this morning that Germany had signed.. the announce was made verbally by an official of the state department.. Immediate retirement of the German military forces from France, Belgium and Alsace-Lorraine”. During a time when journalists and the public questioned the democratic market, objectivity had become important in the news media and American journalism. The victory made the nation come together and give people hope that American life will become better, and the newspapers cashed in with this great news. Most of the American papers at the time made use of people’s reaction and human emotion early on when the public heard of the news by showing photos of celebration in cities throughout the nation. While much news coverage did explain the details of the resolution and Germanys surrender, the news media was eager to get America’s side of the story. While there still was coverage on the other side of the end, Germany’s recovery as well as the other European countries, the American papers provided more stories of their perspective and their total victory. The San Francisco Chronicles article made such lines including “The associated press flashed the news that the greatest war of history has ended in the greatest victory for democracy and humanity of all time”. Another New York Times article “Nation Rejoices at War’s End” also tagged along with phrases like “What was true of New York was true of the nation. Throughout the country there were joyous celebrations of the signing of the armistice.” Sure it is okay to celebrate and rejoice but the limited perspectives these particular papers gave people not only strengthened America’s pride as a nation but also excluded the overall sense of humanity and the actual destruction of the war and what our nation actually did to other countries and lives in the war effort. Rather than using Germany’s reaction, these early papers often used American reactions to tell the story. Much like today’s news regarding the war in Iraq, a large amount of people came together in an effort to win another war and the news was quick to strengthen that thought that America will win. Some may say this type of coverage is propaganda to make America look like the best, and others may argue it is natural to do so in your own country. But journalism must be cautious and remember the idea of objectivity and cover all sides of the actual story.


By The Associated Press.. . "WAR ENDS AT 6 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING :The State Department in Washington Made the Announcement at 2:45 o'clock. ARMISTICE WAS SIGNED IN FRANCE AT MIDNIGHT Terms include Withdrawal from Alsace-Lorraine, Disarming and Demobilization of Army and Navy, and Occupation of Strategic Naval and Military Points.. " New York Times (1857-Current file) [New York, N.Y.] 11 Nov. 1918,1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005). ProQuest. SFSU, San Francisco, CA. May. 2009

"NATION REJOICES AT WAR'S END; CITY IS JUBILANT :All America, With Pealing Bells and Parades, Celebrates Germany's Defeat. SHUT COURTS AND SCHOOLS Exchanges and Offices Close and Workers by Thousands Acclaim Victory. CITY IS ABLAZE AT NIGHT Salvation Army Holds Solemn Service at Library Steps--Mayor LeadsCity Employes' Demonstration. NATION REJOICES AT WAR'S END Sirens Carry the News. Schools and Offices Closed. Mayor Heads Municipal Parade. Judge Lets Prisoners Go. Service by Salvation Army.. " New York Times (1857-Current file) [New York, N.Y.] 12 Nov. 1918,1-2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005). ProQuest. SFSU, San Francisco, CA. May. 2009

"GREAT WAR OVER :CITY SHOUTS ITS JOY IN WELCOME TO PEACE NEWS Bells, Bonfires, Horns and Whistles Acclaim Victory of Heroic Troops of Free Nations ASSOCIATED PRESS GIVES WORD OF WAR'S ENDING Civic Center Is Thronged by Cheering Hosts Who March by Thousands in Great Peace Parade. " San Francisco Chronicle (1869-Current File) [San Francisco, Calif.] 11 Nov. 1918,1-2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers The San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922). ProQuest. SFSU, San Francisco, CA. May. 2009

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