Local Newspapers–Yellow Journalism



Yellow journalism, or the yellow press, is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension, the term yellow journalism is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.

There is not a day that does not go by when I see totally insane titles of articles from old archived newspapers. They needed to sell newspapers, so the more ridiculous the title and article the more papers they sold.

I remember seeing a title of: The Streets of Carleton Place Ran Thick With the Blood of Terror! and of course I use strange titles too. Today one would now call that clickbait–but I personally believe it is a way to get people to read history, and as far as I know I am not making any income LOL.

Yesterday I wrote about a newspaper story from the Almonte Gazette called: Going to the Chapel –Drummond Whalen and Johnson of Carleton Place. The Gazette was later asked to retract a lot of what they had put on the front page. Historian John Morrow from the Lanark County Genealogical Society sent this comment of which I thought I would share.



“From what I have heard over the years the Almonte Gazette’s then editor/publisher, Adelbert Stewart “Stew” Hanna was quite a character, especially when he was allegedly inebriated (which apparently was not that unusual), and was not above a bit of “yellow” journalism at those times, and this appears to be one of them. My father told me one time it was frequently Mrs. Hanna, not Stew, who oversaw the Gazette’s weekly publication.

I also had occasion one time to sit down with Angus Edward “Gus” Dobbie, long-time editor of the Smiths Falls Record-News, who told me he and Stew Hanna maintained quite a running editorial battle in the pages of their respective papers. Gus Dobbie also commented about Norman E. H. Turner, who was editor and publisher of the Perth Courier during that time period, that Norm Turner was a great businessman as publisher, but as an editor “he couldn’t sharpen Stew Hanna’s pencils”.

John Morrow


Read the Almonte Gazette here




Some of the Lanark County Genealogical Society yesterday. Everyone single person has a story in this picture. The woman about to sit down is Irma Willowby whose husband was one of the Willowbys of Carleton Place I have written about.


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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