Yellow journalism uses sensationalism and exaggeration to attract readers. It is usually not well-researched and often only tells one side of the story. It will sometimes have made-up interviews or imaginary drawings.
Yellow Journalism Examples
- Spanish American War - Yellow journalism helped to push Spain and the United States into war in 1898. The Maine, a US battleship, sunk from an explosion. Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst published false articles about a plot to sink the ship, thereby increasing tensions.
- Samsung and Apple court case - A story claimed that Samsung paid a $1.2 billion settlement to Apple in nickels. The story originated as comedy, but an American journalist published it as true.
- Baby Snatched by Eagle - This headline grabbed attention but the accompanying video was shown to be a fake.
- World War I photo - The photo shows a man in front of a firing squad and the caption said the man was an enemy spy. The photo was a fake and the photographer was actually posing as the spy. It has since been used as a photo from WWII.
- Prime Minister called a traitor - ABC News reported that Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu called Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a traitor; but, the report was false.
- OJ Simpson - Live reporting of the chase and capture of Simpson sensationalized this tragic case after Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife.
- Tiger Woods - The news media had a heyday with the story of his affairs, including interviewing sex addicts.
- Heidi Fleiss - She was convicted of prostitution and tax evasion and became very well known due to the media coverage.
- Botox mom - This story of a mom giving her daughter Botox and waxings to keep her looking young was a hoax. The Sun, a British tabloid, paid her $200 to say she did it.
- Octamom - A former stripper gave birth to octuplets and became a media sensation.
- Crazed woman chases Brad Pitt - The headline is an eye catcher but she was really just running after him to take a picture.
Yellow Journalism in Tabloid Headlines
- Titanic Survivors Found Onboard
- Dick Cheney is a Robot - When he goes to the hospital, it's to get his circuits rewired
- Severed Leg Hops to Hospital
- Hubby's Bad Breath Kills His Wife
- Vampires Attack US Troops
- Half-Man Half-Dog Baffles Doctors
- Alien Bible Found, They Worship Oprah
- Man's 174-mph Sneeze Blows Wife's Hair Off
- Teen's Hair Changes Color … With her Mood!
- Supreme Court Judges are Naked Under Robes!
- Chain-smoker Kicks 30-year Habit … Then Chokes to Death on Wad of Nicotine Gum!
- Dolphin Grows Human Arms
- Man Gives Birth to a Healthy Baby Boy
- Abraham Lincoln was a Woman
- Jesus Action Figure Heals the Sick
- Half of U.S. hookers are space aliens - and they don't have sex organs!
- Man makes $60,000 a year as human lawn jockey
- Nazi UFOs to Attack U.S.
- Snake with Human Head Found in Arkansas
- News Reporter Eaten Alive by 80-Ft Dinosaur
- Man's Head Explodes in Barber's Chair
- Is Your Cat from Mars?
As you can see, yellow journalism attracts attention; but, it typically doesn't have much substance.