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Graphic NewsHow Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism$
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Amanda Frisken

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042980

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042980.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

“A First-Class Attraction on Any Stage”

“A First-Class Attraction on Any Stage”

Dramatizing the Ghost Dance and the Massacre at Wounded Knee

Chapter:
(p.85) Chapter 3 “A First-Class Attraction on Any Stage”
Source:
Graphic News
Author(s):

Amanda Frisken

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042980.003.0004

This chapter examines the 1890 Ghost Dance, a nonviolent religious practice among the Lakota Sioux. In covering the Ghost Dance, daily newspaper editors Joseph Pulitzer (the New York World) and William Randolph Hearst (the San Francisco Examiner), along with the New York Herald and ChicagoTribune, experimented with the limits of news illustration. Their images mischaracterized the dance as a declaration of war, contributing to events leading to the massacre at Wounded Knee. Their quest for illustrations that were both “authentic” (photograph-based) and dramatic led editors to appropriate images from the entertainment marketplace (photographs of Sitting Bull, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show), for political and commercial benefit. The Lakota’s efforts had limited power to correct misrepresentations of the dance and its aftermath.

Keywords:   Lakota Sioux, Ghost Dance, Wounded Knee, Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, photography, illustration, San Francisco Examiner, New York World, New York Herald

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