Evolution of American Newspapers: Style, Philosophy, Role in Society

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association presents an address by Greenwich resident Janeen Bjork Wednesday, Jan. 13, 10:40 a.m. social break, 11 a.m. presentation, First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich.

Bjork, an independent TV researcher and frequent speaker in Greenwich and the area, will discuss “The Evolution of American Newspapers: Style, Philosophy, Role in Society.”  She covers the remarkable history of American newspapers, from the Revolutionary times, through the early Industrial revolution, into modern times, and where newspapers  might be headed,  with particular discussion of newspapers in Greenwich.

Is it time to write an obituary for American newspapers? Where once almost every adult in America read a ‘broadside’ or newspaper, today hard-copy editions and investigative reporting are vaporizing, while blogs that allow almost anyone to flash fact-free opinions to the world, proliferate.  How have American newspapers evolved and where might they be headed?

Bjork will give an abbreviated history of American newspapers, touching on four milestone periods along the way: 18th century colonial; 19th century (the telegraph, the impact of industrialization, and the “muckrakers”), the 20th century, and today/tomorrow. She will illustrate this story with Greenwich newspapers, which in many ways are a microcosm of American newspaper history.  Bjork will include a pictorial history of some local newspapers: their leaders and sponsors, their layout and ads, and some of their stories, from the earliest existing copy of the Greenwich Observer in the late-19th century, to subsequent publications, including The Greenwich News, The Greenwich Graphic and The Greenwich Press.

Janeen Bjork, a resident of Greenwich, is a 30-year veteran of a variety of TV Programming & Research positions. She is also an avid reader whose fascination with her family history led her to spend hours a day reading the newspapers her ancestors may have read, searching for both facts and context. She has been an in-demand speaker for several decades, including 14 consecutive years delivering presentations at television industry conventions in which she predicted the hits and misses of the coming year’s syndicated programming offerings. Her knowledge of markets, audience research, and statistics, delivered in an entertaining and accessible, user-friendly fashion has carried over to her newfound love of newspapers. Her enthusiasm for her subject is contagious and will make you look at newspapers in a new way.

The Greenwich Retired Mens’ Association offers a program every Wednesday. RMA meetings are free and open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required. Our social break starts at 10:40 a.m., followed promptly by our speaker at 11 a.m. Meetings are held at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich.

For additional information, contact: [email protected] or www.greenwichrma.org

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