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Subject: AEJ 98 CarvalhJ HIS World Series coverage before and after the Depression
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 21 Dec 1998 04:55:10 EST

TEXT/PLAIN (571 lines)

        The Great Depression was a time of severe social and economic upheaval for the
United States.  The hardships precipitated by the stock market crash and
subsequent bank and business closings resulted in widespread unemployment,
disillusionment, and turmoil.
        Though newspapers proved a surprisingly resilient industry during the late
1920s and early 1930s, even they were not immune to the harmful effects of
economic decline[1].  Average circulation (and thus newspaper readership) dipped
only slightly, but as businesses closed, newspapers lost advertising revenue --
45 percent over the four years following 1929[2].
        Even today, newspapers in similar situations, to compensate for the advertising
revenue shortfall, often reduce production expenses by decreasing the number of
pages they print.  The decisions on how to cut content, however, do not come
easily.  Certain sections are preserved at the expense of others -- an agonizing
decision-making process that can anger both journalists and readers.
        One likely victim of cuts would seem to be the sports section, with its
emphasis on diversion and escape over hard news.  Previous studies have attested
to the popularity of the sports page in the years preceding the Depression --
particularly the 1920s[3].  But that decade was a period of economic prosperity,
both for the nation and its newspapers.  How well did the sports section survive
the economic disaster of the years that followed?  Did readers lose their
appetite for sports coverage during harsh economic times?  Did the growing need
for so-called "hard news" during a critical point in history relegate sports to
a smaller portion of the newspaper?
        Previous research has not addressed such questions.  This paper will help
remedy that shortfall, by presenting research that examines sports coverage from
eight newspapers in 1927 and in 1932.  Coverage of a specific sporting event of
high public interest, baseball's World Series, will be compared, to see whether
major newspapers from a variety of geographical regions devoted less space to
that sporting event, and to sports in general, when the Depression's effects
were being fully felt.  Such data can help to determine the priority assigned
sports during a period when most of the hard news, while bad, was in fact
arguably more important news.
        More than merely quantifying editorial decisions, however, this paper will also
seek to interpret Depression-era culture by using newspapers as a cultural text.
As one sports researcher acknowledged, "American newspapers are a mirror in
which the nation is reflected in all its complex cultural diversity"[4].  Sports
heroes were popular (though perhaps not as well-paid) cultural icons in the
1930s as much as in the 1920s.  A sustained level of sports coverage would
demonstrate that, even in the midst of economic depression, newspaper readers
valued the diversions of the sports page and newspaper editors obliged them.
        The development of sports journalism -- starting in the 19th century and
climaxing in the "Jazz Age" 1920s -- has been the subject of extensive previous
research.  In many ways, the evolution of the newspaper sports page paralleled
the evolution of modern sports, reflecting their symbiotic relationship.
        By the early nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution provided Americans
with more leisure time, and they began to turn their interest toward sports[5].
The earliest sports journals originated in Great Britain, the first being Pierce
Egan's Life in London and Sporting Guide, which began publication in 1824.  It
was retitled Bell's Life in London four years later.  Under that title, it
gained in popularity, reaching a circulation of 75,000 by the mid-1800s[6].
        Similarly, in the United States, magazines reached enthusiasts more
successfully than did newspapers.  While James Gordon Bennett's New York Herald
reported on horse races and prize fights from the 1840s on, most newspaper
publishers looked down on such pursuits and left sports reporting to magazines
such as Spirit of the Times[7].  However, when Richard Kyle Fox parlayed
coverage of sports (among other, more lurid topics) in his National Police
Gazette into a nationwide circulation of 150,000, the newspaper industry began
to take notice[8].
        The New York World, published by the aggressive Joseph Pulitzer, is credited as
establishing the first separate department of sportswriters, in 1883[9].  From a
cultural perspective, sports journalism met an important need for readers within
growing metropolitan areas: "The increasing impersonal quality of city life
created a greater need for vicarious personal contacts and for humanized
materials which would permit the illusion of sharing an emotional
experience."[10]  Such vicarious emotional experiences were provided by the
sports page, with its gaudily written accounts of on-the-field heroics.
        Media researchers from the critical/cultural perspective have also acknowledged
this symbiotic sports-media relationship.  Sports journalism provided the masses
not only the vicarious emotional experience described above, but also a release
from the pressures of work: "Commercialized sports grew rapidly in the expanding
urban centers as a release from the social problems that accompanied capitalist
urbanization, and also as a result of the lack of leisure and recreational
facilities which might have eased the burdens of rapid industrialization."[11]
Progressive historian Frederick L. Paxson agreed, describing sports as a "safety
valve" that steered American energies after the New World frontier had
        Even the sports themselves, as they developed, reflected the tensions caused by
industrialization.  For example, during the 1880s, the game of college football
was undergoing profound changes as it evolved from British rugby to a more
American game.  As Michael Oriard's cultural history of the game demonstrates,
both the sport and the newspapers that covered it can serve as cultural texts
for the decade.  The emerging industrial society engaged its members in a
debate, as the rising middle class intruded into domains traditionally populated
by the privileged class.  In the same manner, a struggle was occurring within
college football -- between "scientific" middle-class proponents like coach
Walter Camp, who sought a game that would develop the next generation of
industrial leaders, and upper-class traditionalists like magazine publisher
Caspar Whitney, who emphasized the virtue of play for its own sake.  Within this
debate -- which influenced society as much as sport -- the sports page helped to
interpret the game of football to different audiences, thus providing an
important cultural function[13].
        During the 1890s, the involvement of publishers like Pulitzer and William
Randolph Hearst, wedded sports journalism and yellow journalism in the minds of
many[14].  Hearst was credited with developing the first separate sports
section, and with such innovations as hiring sports celebrities to write guest
columns[15].  His and Pulitzer's contributions, however, also lowered the status
of sports journalists within the profession.
        During the early twentieth century, newspaper sports sections experienced
phenomenal growth: "Sporting columns grew overnight from one-man jobs to big and
dignified and semi-independent departments."[16]   That independence manifested
itself in an editorial autonomy that allowed sports editors to send their pages
directly to composing rooms, bypassing copy desk scrutiny.  In addition, sports
journalists would accept financial compensation from sporting promoters that
took several forms: free tickets to events, extra money as official scorekeepers
and game officials, and even direct payments in appreciation for free
publicity[17].  Such actions seemed to reinforce the profession's perception
that sports journalists lacked the ethical sensitivity crucial to
        By the 1920s, coming out of World War I, the nation was experiencing a surge in
sports interest that continued the growth in popularity of sportswriting.  The
surge has been attributed to several factors: the postwar economic boom;
returning World War I soldiers who had participated in sports as part of their
military training; and colleges' and universities' attempts to capitalize on the
popularity of football to attract new students and reinforce alumni support[18].
        That surge, however, paralleled a continuing debate on the nature of sport and
its contribution to society.  The debate had changed in focus from the Camp vs.
Whitney battles at the end of the nineteenth century.  By the 1920s, most of
society's elite adopted the sport ethic held by the middle class in the previous
century -- that sports could be used as "a technology for ordering communities
confronted with the dislocations fostered by industrialism."[19]
        For the masses, however, the purpose of sports was to provide entertainment --
a different slant on the concept of sport for its own sake.  That ethic offended
the Progressive mind at the same time it was fueling increased interest in
sports.  To them, 1920s society's love affair with automobiles and sports --
coined "gas and the games" by one author -- undermined sports potential as a
source of good.[20]
        During the 1920s, athletes had begun to replace industrialists and even
government leaders as the heroes of youth.  The 1920 and 1924 elections had
begun to forge a new campaign strategy, in which candidates were judged more by
image than by accomplishment or rhetoric.  Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge
"offered the public no coherent platform beyond a hazy vision of 'normalcy,' an
amorphous idea which meant many things to many people at a very superficial
level."[21]  Within that political environment, the Jack Dempseys and Babe
Ruths, who had overcome opposition in forging their athletic destinies, provided
new heroes, and these icons survived even economic depression.
        Such heroes also served an important cultural purpose during the 1920s.  In one
sense, they served a "compensatory function," "compensating for the passing of
the traditional dream of success, the erosion of Victorian values and feelings
of individual powerlessness"[22] so characteristic of the Jazz Age.  Athletes
seemed to personify the possibility of success without yielding to the demands
of "the system."
        One way that sports heroes like Dempsey gained popularity was through extensive
newspaper coverage of their fights, especially before the event.  Dempsey's
promoter, Tex Rickard, was skilled at gaining pre-match publicity for his boxer
and his events.  Baseball club owners also did what they could to promote
coverage; many paid the travel expenses of the reporters who covered their
        The problem facing newspaper publishers was that the symbiotic relationship
between media and sports were taking on more of a business arrangement than mere
event reporting.  Newspapers provided readers daily reports on their favorite
teams, which drew fans to games, and sports promoters extended journalists
courtesies that went beyond facilitation to financial compensation[24].  Such
self-interest by sports promoters and journalists would seem to ignore the
newspapers' commitment to their readers over their sources, even as the sports
journalists themselves argued that newspapers were following, not leading, the
public's changing attitude toward sports[25].
        That cozy relationship, however, concerned many newspaper editors because of
the ethical pitfalls.   Concern among editors reached the point that in 1926,
the American Society of Newspaper Editors appointed a committee to study the
problem.   The committee, in its report at the 1927 ASNE convention, recommended
that sports sections stop giving away free publicity for upcoming sports events,
that sports sections come under the same editorial supervision as other
departments, that sports journalists not accept fees for providing services at
sports events (with corresponding pay raises to compensate), and that newspapers
commit their sports departments to increased coverage of amateur athletics[26].
        The newspapers' ethical concerns seem ironic, even inconsistent, when compared
with their actions.  When Rickard was seeking a site for a world heavyweight
championship fight between Dempsey and Gene Tunney, established newspapers like
the Chicago Tribune and Herald and Examiner, the Philadelphia Inquirer and
Evening Bulletin and New York Times and Daily News all campaigned ardently for
their own cities to be chosen.  Thus, while these same editors criticized
tabloid "yellow journalism" practitioners such as Hearst and Pulitzer, the tone
of their coverage changed when a heavyweight championship fight was at
        All that enthusiasm waned, of course, after the stock market crash of 1929,
which initiated nearly a decade of economic depression.  Communication
historians have not studied the 1930s as extensively as the Jazz Age,
particularly where sports coverage is concerned.  But several studies have
offered perspectives on sports coverage during that time.
        In one study of World Series coverage in the 1920s, two effects of the 1929
stock market crash were noted.  Attributed to the crash were the psychological
effects of grim reality replacing "Jazz Age" ebullience.  But more direct and
measurable was the reduction in story length caused by fewer pages.  The
research did not include content analysis, but nonetheless did provide a vivid
picture of a baseball-crazy New York City in the 1920s[28].
        During the Depression, however, newspaper sports sections continued to serve an
important social function, according to an study by the University of
California.  Not only did newspapers sponsor sports events for charitable
purposes, but they also addressed race relations (arguing against the banning of
African-American baseball players) and public morality issues such as the
serving of alcohol at athletic events[29].
        In the absence of sports journalism studies, other communication studies can be
consulted to gain some understanding of the Depression-era media audience.  One
such study of popular culture claimed that those who attended sporting events
"were not escaping from the real world; they were partaking of some of its
essential features."  To these audience members, popular culture -- movies,
radio programs, and newspapers, as well as sporting events -- empowered them to
face their culture, rather than escape from it[30].
        But did newspapers continue to offer sports coverage during the Depression?  By
looking at coverage of an annual event like baseball's World Series, we can see
indicators of whether sports continued to find coverage within the pages of
American newspapers, even as the society changed drastically.  The 1927 and 1932
World Series offer a promising point of comparison.
        In the 1920s and 1930s, one of the most popular teams in baseball was the New
York Yankees of the American League.  Between 1921 and 1933, the Yankees
appeared in the World Series seven times, winning four "world championships."
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were the best-known Yankees in both World Series, but
newspaper coverage would highlight other team members as well.  In 1927, Ruth
set a single-season record by hitting 60 home runs.
        The Yankees' opponent in 1927 was the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had won the World
Series two years earlier.  The Pirates were led by the young Waner brothers --
"Big Poison" Paul and "Little Poison" Lloyd[31].  According to baseball
folklore, when the Waner brothers and their teammates watched Ruth, Gehrig, and
their Yankee teammates take batting practice, the sight caused them to lose
their confidence.   As one anecdote noted, after Ruth finished his turn, he
called to the Pirate players, "If you chase down any of those balls, I'll
autograph them for you."[32]  The Yankees beat the Pirates in four consecutive
games, two at Pittsburgh followed by two at New York.
        In 1932, Ruth, Gehrig, and a greatly changed roster of teammates faced the
Chicago Cubs.  The Yankees' manager, Joe McCarthy, had been fired by the Cubs
two years earlier after his team failed to repeat as National League champions,
finished second[33].  McCarthy's team earned a measure of revenge for their
coach, beating the Cubs, as they had the Pirates five years earlier, in four
straight games.
        In what would prove to be his final World Series appearance, Ruth also provided
a memorable addition to baseball folklore.  While facing Cubs pitcher Charley
Root in the fifth inning, Ruth supposedly pointed to the center field fence,
predicting a home run (which he subsequently hit)[34].
        To examine World Series coverage, this paper will incorporate a content
analysis of eight daily metropolitan newspapers: the Atlanta Constitution, the
Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times,
the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post.
The dates included in the study were October 5-9, 1927, and September 30-October
3, 1932[35].  These dates marked the first day of the World Series, allowing for
a preview, through reports of its final game.[36]  For this study, morning
editions of newspapers were analyzed[37].
        The 1927 and 1932 World Series provide relevant comparison for two reasons.
First, the two Series occurredover a four-year span, before and after the stock
market crash in October 1929, that precipitated the Depression.  That
chronological distance would allow the effects of the Depression to be more
fully manifest themselves.  Second, because both Series were four-game "sweeps,"
coverage was not affected by intervening factors -- such as increased, extended
drama in one World Series -- that could be expected to precipitate additional
audience interest and corresponding newspaper coverage.
        The newspapers were coded according to several criteria.  First, the length of
the newspaper sports section was measured by the number of pages.  The total
number of pages in the newspaper were also recorded[38], to determine whether
newspaper sports sections were given a smaller share of the available news hole
in 1932.
        Newspaper articles covering the World Series were also measured according to
paragraph length.  Several journalism historians have attributed to the
Depression a move toward a "leaner," more concise writing style.  That should be
reflected in shorter articles.  Articles were coded in two ways: by the
categories "short article" (up to five paragraphs) and "long articles" (at least
six paragraphs) and by average article length.  For the purpose of this study,
sidebar boxes containing statistics -- such as box scores, composite statistics,
predicted line-ups, schedules of games -- were coded as short articles.  Since
their paragraphs could not be counted, however, they are not included in
calculations of average article length.
        Finally, the number of World Series photographs -- both head shots and action
photos -- was recorded in each newspaper.  Photographs are an important vehicle
to attract readers, but require the resources of both space and technology,
which might have been in smaller supply during the Depression.
        Every newspaper in the study decreased in its average number of pages between
1927 and 1932.  The number of pages allotted to sports also decreased, but the
percentage of pages devoted to sports did not.  Newspapers continued to devote
the same proportion of their news hole to sports.  Thus, the sports section was
not depleted, with its pages given to other sections, to compensate for the
decrease in space.
Table 1
Average Length of Newspapers and Sports Sections
                1927                    1932
        Avg. Sports     Avg.    Pct.    Avg. Sports     Avg.    Pct.
Newspaper       Pages   Total   to Sports       Pages   Total   to Sports
Constitution    3.2     30.8    10.4    3.2     30.4    10.5
Boston Globe    4.8     32.5    14.6    4.4     29.2    15.1
Chicago Tribune 4.8     58.8    7.8     3.7     39.7    9.2
Los Angeles Times       4.8     70.4    6.5     3.7     45.7    8.0
New York Times  7.0     67.2    10.4    5.3     54.0    9.9
Inquirer        5.6     41.6    13.0    4.5     40.7    11.1
San Francisco
Chronicle[39]   4.0     44.4    9.0     4.0     34.7    11.5
Washington Post 4.0     31.2    12.8    3.0     22.7    13.2
        The majority of newspapers devoted fewer pages to sports.  World Series
coverage showed a similar decrease.  Of the newspapers studied, only two,
the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, ran more stories about the
1932 World Series -- and the increased Tribune coverage can easily be
explained by interest in the hometown Cubs.  Even the New York Times ran
fewer World Series articles in 1932 than in 1927, though the Yankees
played in both.  In most of the newspapers studied, the main competition
was the opening of college football, which generated much more local
interest than World Series games featuring teams from distant cities.
Professional football, still in its infancy, did not receive the same
level of coverage as the college game.
Table 2
Average Number of World Series Articles
                1927                    1932
                Total no.                       Total no.
Newspaper               of articles     Average         of articles     Average
Atlanta Constitution            33      6.6             32      6.4
Boston Globe            53      13.2            55      11.0
Chicago Tribune         42      8.4             64      10.7
Los Angeles Times               46      9.2             57      9.5
New York Times          110     22              73      12.2
Philadelphia Inquirer           80      16.0            75      12.5
San Francisco Chronicle 45      9.0             43      7.2
Washington Post         52      10.4            49      8.2
        Even though newspapers ran fewer World Series articles, the proportion of
longer articles (more than five pages) did not increase or decrease in any
discernable pattern.  Every newspaper except the New York Times ran more
longer articles.
         One kind of longer article that proved popular with magazine readers was
guest columns written by baseball players and managers.  In 1927 and 1932,
the San Francisco Chronicle ran syndicated columns by John McGraw, manager
of the New York Giants.  (The Washington Post also ran McGraw's columns in
1927.)  In 1932, the New York Times ran daily columns by two opposing
players: third baseman Joe Sewell of the Yankees and third baseman/team
captain Woody English of the Cubs.
Table 3
Percentage of Short and Long World Series Articles
                        1927                    1932
                Total no.       Pct.    Pct.    Total no.       Pct.    Pct.
Newspaper               of articles     short   long    of articles     short   long
Atlanta Constitution            33      42.4 (14)       57.6 (19)       32      50.0 (16)        50.0(16)
Boston Globe            53      37.7 (20)       62.3 (33)       55      45.5 (25)       55.5 (30)
Chicago Tribune         42      45.2 (19)       54.8 (23)       64      45.3 (29)       54.7 (35)
Los Angeles Times               46      47.8 (22)       52.2 (24)       57      31.6 (18)       68.4 (39)
New York Times          110     60.9 (67)       39.1 (43)       73      61.6 (45)       38.3 (28)
Philadelphia Inquirer           80      51.2 (41)       48.8 (39)       75      40.0 (30)       60.0 (45)
San Francisco Chronicle 45      46.7 (21)       53.3 (24)       43      41.9 (18)       58.1 (25)
Washington Post         52      48.1 (25)       51.9 (27)       49      40.8 (20)       51.2 (29)
        Although most newspapers ran fewer World Series articles, average article
length increased for all of the newspapers in the study.  If sports
journalism were moving toward a leaner writing style, it was not reflected
in World Series articles.
 Table 4
Average World Series Article Length
                1927                    1932
        Total no.       Total para-     Avg.    Total no.       Total para-     Avg.
Newspaper       of articles     graphs  length  of articles     graphs  length
Atlanta Constitution    27      357     13.2    26      372     14.3
Boston Globe    49      549     11.2    43      606     14.1
Chicago Tribune 34      360     10.6    54      666     12.3
Los Angeles Times       36      360     10.0    45      544     12.1
New York Times  94      1,106   11.8    49      587     12.0
Philadelphia Inquirer   63      991     15.7    58      1063    18.3
San Francisco Chronicle 33      371     11.2    33      466     14.1
Washington Post 43      501     11.7    36      483     13.4
        Most sports pages also featured more photographs in 1932 than in 1927[40].
That can be attributed to improvements in technology that made such
photographs more cost-effective.  The photographs ran on both the sports
page and the rotogravure sections that were popular Sunday sections in
both 1927 and 1932.
        Although the number of photographs appears to have held steady from 1927
to 1932, the entire decrease in the San Francisco Chronicle can be
attributed to the layout on its October 5, 1927 edition.  To preview the
1927 World Series, the newspaper framed its front sports page with twenty
head shots: the nine starting players and manager for each team.
 Table 5
Total (Average) Number of Photographs Published
Newspaper       1927    1932
Atlanta Constitution    0 (0.0) 5 (1.0)
Boston Globe    17 (4.2)        23 (4.6)
Chicago Tribune 17 (3.4)        32 (5.3)
Los Angeles Times       7 (1.4) 3 (0.5)
New York Times  20 (4.0)        14 (2.3)
Philadelphia Inquirer   14 (2.8)        21 (3.5)
San Francisco Chronicle 25 (5.0)        5 (0.8)
Washington Post 19 (4.8)        15 (2.5)
TOTAL   119     118
        Along with the content analysis reported above, coverage was consulted
more in-depth to study the newspaper reporting of one legend that has
survived from the 1932 World Series.  The narrative from the third game,
mentioned earlier, described Ruth pointing to the center field fence
before hitting a home run.
        Neither the New York Times nor the Chicago Tribune, reported the event.
The Times report did acknowledge that Ruth was the target of booing and
jeering by the Chicago fans, many of whom threw lemons at him.  During his
fifth inning at-bat (when the famed pointing incident was supposed to have
occurred), the Times reporter covering the game noted that "Ruth signaled
with his fingers after each pitch to let the spectators know exactly how
the situation stood."  To the Times reporter, Ruth was signaling the count
of strikes and balls, not predicting a home run[41].
        The sportswriter covering the game for the Chicago Tribune likewise noted
that "Ruth held up two fingers, indicating in umpire fashion.  Then he
made a remark about spotting the Cubs those two strikes"[42] before hitting
his home run.  Sports columnist Westbrook Pegler, however, described the
scene in greater detail.  He noted that Ruth was trading insults with Cubs
pitcher Guy Bush on the Chicago bench.  Pegler reported that Ruth was
pointing toward Bush, though Pegler vaguely refers to a signal that said,
"Now, this is the one.  Look!"[43]  But he does not specifically mention Ruth
pointing toward the center-field fence.
        That the story has been handed down in its present, mythic form reflects
the nature of cultural icons such as Ruth.  Extensive coverage
notwithstanding, his exploits fueled the interest of Depression-era
audiences starved for inspiration.  Their receptivity to such legends is
crucial to understanding their culture.
        While newspapers did print fewer pages as a result of the Depression, the
sports section made no more of a sacrifice than any other section.
Apparently, publishers were not willing to risk losing readers at the same
rate they had lost advertisers.  Sports content had proven an effective
means of attracting readers.  Even in a time of national crisis, then,
readers still found sports content an important coping mechanism that
accompanied the "hard news" reporting on national affairs.
        Even an event of nationwide interest such as the World Series could not
sustain the level of coverage it had received before the Depression.  But
that does not mean it was ignored, or that editors cut the length of World
Series articles.  Instead, sports pages continued to provide the longer,
detailed articles that fans demanded.
        Perhaps sports articles did provide a form of escape from the harsh
reality of the Depression.  That escape, however, met an important
cultural need, as did the athletes as cultural icons.  The trend of
"athlete as hero," which began in the 1920s, continued into the 1930s.  In
the late 19th century, with the increase in industrialization,
participation in sports might have been the "safety valve" for society.
By the 1930s, in dealing with the stress of the Depression, sports
spectating seems to have served that same purpose.
        The current media landscape is vastly different from the time of Ruth,
Gehrig, and the New York Yankees.  Now, sports fans can see games reported
in detail, with instant replay and expert commentary.  To the 1930s sports
fan, however, the newspaper provided an important connection with sporting
heroes, one that they were not quick to give up -- either in the Jazz Age
or the Depression.
[1]     Jean Folkerts and Dwight L. Teeter, Jr.  Voices of a Nation: A History of
Mass Media in the United States.  New York, 1989: Macmillan College Publishing
Company, p. 374.
[2]     Frank Luther Mott.  American Journalism: A History of Newspapers in the
United States Through 260 Years: 1690 to 1950.  New York, 1950: The Macmillan
Company, p. 675.
[3]     John R. Tunis, "Gas and the Games," Saturday Evening Post, 202 (January 25,
1930), p. 12 (Cited in Wayne M. Towers, "World Series Coverage in New York City
in the 1920s," Journalism Monographs, 73 [August 1981], p. 3.  Tunis gave the
example of an unidentified newspaper whose sports section grew from 1,000 column
inches a week in 1910, to 1,500 inches a week in 1920, and 2,000 inches a week
by 1925.)
[4]     Frederick W. Cozens and Florence Scovil Stumpf.  Sports in American Life.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953, p. 112.
[5]     Janet Lever and Stanton Wheeler.  "Mass Media and the Experience of
Sports."  Communication Research.  20 (February 1993) 1: 125.
[6]     William Henry Nugent. "The Sports Section."  The American Mercury, 16
(March 1929): 336.
[7]     John Rickards Betts.  America's Sporting Heritage: 1850-1950.  Reading,
Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1974, pp. 53-57.
[8]     Betts, p. 60.
[9]     Betts, p. 64.
[10]    Cozens and Stump, p. 115.
[11]    Jhally, Sut.  "The Spectacle of Accumulation: Material and Cultural
Factors in the Evolution of the Sports/Media Complex."  The Insurgent
Sociologist, 12(1984):43.
[12]    Frederick L. Paxson, "The Rise of Sports."  Mississippi Valley Historical
Review 4 (September 1917): 145.  Cited in Mark Dyreson, "The Emergence of
Consumer Culture and the Transformation of Physical Culture: American Sport in
the 1920s."  Journal of Sport History 16 (Winter 1989) 3: 264.
[13]    Oriard, Michael.  Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an
American Spectacle. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
[14]    Betts, p. 67.
[15]    Cozens and Stumpf, p. 114
[16]    Problems of Journalism. vol. 5  (Washington, D.C.: American Society of
Newspaper Editors, 1927), p. 97.  To distinguish this report from a subsequent
one, it will be identified as ASNE 1927 in future footnotes.
[17]    ASNE 1927, 99-101.
[18]    Cozens and Stumpf, pp. 118-119
[19]    Dyreson, pp. 265-268.
[20]    Tunis, John R.  "Gas and the Games."  Saturday Evening Post, January 25,
1930, p. 12.
[21]    Dyreson, pp. 277-278.
[22]    Benjamin G. Rader.  "Compensatory Sports Heroes: Ruth, Grange and
Dempsey."  Journal of Popular Culture, 16 (1983): 11.
[23]    Bill Surface, "The Shame of the Sports Beat."  Columbia Journalism Review,
January/February 1972, 54.
[24]    Wheeler and Wheeler, pp. 130-131.
[25]    W. O. McGeehan, "Our Changing Sports Page."  Scribner's, July 1928, p. 56.
McGeehan, former sports editor of the New York Herald and a popular broadcaster,
also argued that the increased coverage had brought about positive changes - for
example, increasing women's interest in sports.
[26]    ASNE, 1927, p. 102.
[27]    Bruce J. Evensen.  "'Cave Man' Meets 'Student Champion:' Sports Page
Storytelling for a Nervous Generation During America's Jazz Age."  Journalism
Quarterly 70 (Winter 1993) 4: 767-779.
[28]    Wayne M. Towers.  "World Series Coverage in New York City in the 1920s."
Journalism Monographs, 73 (August 1981), pp. 18-21.  Towers' study is not so
much a content analysis-based study of how New York newspapers covered the World
Series as it is a description of three "Golden Ages" (of baseball, of radio, and
of newspaper sports pages) that increased the popularity of such coverage.
[29]    Donald Brillhart, "The Sports Page and the Social Scene, 1929-1935."
Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Berkeley, 1951.  Cited in
Cozens and Stumpf, pp. 122-123.
[30]    Lawrence Levine, "The Folklore of Industrial Society: Popular Culture and
Its Audiences."  American Historical Review, 97 (December 1992) 5: 1369-1400.
[31]    Richard M. Cohen and David S. Neft.  The World Series.  New York: Collier
Books, 1986, p. 120.
[32]    Glenn Dickey, The History of the World Series Since 1903.  New York: Stein
and Day, 1984, 93.  In fact, Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs
surpassed the Pirates' team total (54).
[33]     Cohen and Neft, 142.
[34]    Ibid. This legend will be discussed in more detail in a separate section,
following the content analysis of newspaper content.
[35]    The 1932 World Series included an extra day for travel between New York
and Chicago (Sept. 30, 1932).  The 1927 World Series did not give players a day
off for travel: The two teams played in Pittsburgh on October 6 and in New York
on October 7.  Thus, the 1927 study incorporates five days of coverage, while
the 1932 study incorporates six.
[36]    Within this sample, all newspapers were available on microfilm, with the
exception of the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe.  Since the purpose of this
study was comparison of the same newspaper at two different points in time, the
Globe was included, since the exclusion of Sunday editions probably did not
affect the comparison.
[37]      Many of the newspapers included in the study printed "afternoon-extra"
editions to capitalize on World Series interest, some of which were available on
microfilm.  Since not all of the newspapers were available on that basis,
however, the study was limited to morning editions.
[38]    Measuring overall newspaper length presented problems concerning Sunday
newspapers.  The author included only broadsheet-size sections in his
calculation of Sunday newspaper length.  For the newspapers included in this
study, that meant the exclusion of comics pages, along with literary and
magazine supplements.
[39]    Throughout both periods measured in this study, the Chronicle ran four
pages of sports coverage each day (even Sunday), in a section titled "The
Sporting Green."
[40]    For this study, head shots and action shots were counted equally in
determining the number of photographs.
[41]    John Drebinger. "Yankees Beat Cubs, 7-5, for Third Straight in World
Series Before 51,000."  New York Times, October 2, 1932, Sec. 2, P. 9.
[42]    Edward Burns.  "Home Runs by Ruth, Gehrig Beat Cubs, 7-5."  Chicago
Tribune October 2, 1932, Sec. 1, P. 1.
[43]    Westbrook Pegler.  "Gehrig Hit 'Em; Foxx or Hoover Might Have -- But Not
Like the Babe"  Chicago Tribune October 2, 1932, Sec. 2, P. 3.

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