Stop the Presses! The New York Newspaper History Tour
Trace the turbulent history of newspapers in New York
It is impossible to tell the story of New York City without telling the story of its newspapers, which have been chronicling and shaping the rise of Gotham almost from the city’s founding. In fact, the first newspaper in the city begins publishing in 1725, 60 years after New York became a British Colony, and 64 years before the First Amendment guaranteed the right to a free press.
Together, the city grew together with the people and institutions who would document its emergence. New Yorkers have always had an insatiable thirst for news and information, and the newspaper industry rose to quench that thirst with coverage that continued to evolve with the city, not just chronicling the Big Apple, but reflecting it as it changed politically, demographically, socially and economically. Along the way, the newspapers and the people who worked on them became synonymous with the city, achieving fame and fortune.
Saturday, July 31st at 11 am
Tuesday, July 13th at 7 pm ET
This tour will be led by licensed New York City tour guide Michael Morgenthal, a former reporter and editor who has been fascinated by the New York Newspaper scene from the time of his first job, assembling the Sunday New York Times in his uncle’s store — he often says the ink seeped into his blood and never left! We will see New York through the eyes of the legendary reporters, editors and publishers who shaped New York and the United States through their words, cartoons and photographs.
Get ready to learn about…
- The famous libel trial of early NYC newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger, which served as a precursor to the establishment of the Freedom of the Press decades later in the Bill of Rights.
- Alexander Hamilton, the New York Post, and the overt politics and “Fake News” of post-Revolution New York City’s newspapers
- The newspaper was between Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal, which ushered in the age of mass media thanks to “Yellow Journalism.”
- How architecture cemented the permanence of the media with a special focus on the many gorgeous buildings in and around Newspaper Row in downtown Manhattan — most of which no longer exist.
- The New York Sun, the “Penny Press” and the emergence of the modern newspaper
- The New York Times’ rise from a second-rate rag to the preeminent newspaper in the United States.
- Legendary newspaper figures such as William Cullen Bryant, Horace Greeley, Benjamin Day, the Bennetts, Dorothy Schiff, Nellie Bly, Jimmy Breslin, Norman Mailer and Pete Hamill.
- The stories behind some of the most famous newspaper articles in New York’s history, such as “Ford to City: Drop Dead” and “Headless Body in Topless Bar.”
- The decline of the daily newspaper in New York City.
Walking Tour: 2.5 hours (we will send you the meeting place after you book)
Virtual Tour: 90 minutes with Q&A (we will send a Zoom link after you sign up)
Person – Walking Tour: $40.00 / Virtual Tour: $20.00
(Best suited for ages 16+)
Private Tours available!
Book a private walking tour or a live online experience that makes a fun socially distanced event for your family, organization, or group of friends.
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Tour guide Mike Morgenthal
Looking to study up before the tour?
Prep for our New York Newspaper Tour by listening to the podcast episodes “The War on Newspaper Row: Pulitzer, Hearst, and the sinking of the USS Maine.”