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behistorian


Be the Historian!

Who published this newspaper and why?

When historians investigate a particular historical event, they often turn to newspapers as sources. One of the first questions they need to ask in using such sources is: “Who published it and why?” Typically, the answer to “who published it” is easy to find; it is on the newspaper’s masthead. But beginning researchers often fail to think hard about how and why a particular newspaper account is shaped in a particular way. They assume that all newspaper accounts are alike.

 

The Task:
This exercise challenges you to read carefully and think about how newspapers shape a particular event. You will find three accounts of the same event, but no information on where those accounts appeared.

 

These excerpts come from three different newspaper stories about the visit of the American ex-President Theodore Roosevelt to Budapest on April 19, 1910—the Washington Post of Washington, D.C., United States; Pesti Hirlap of Budapest, Hungary; and the Times of London, England. Budapest was the capital of the Hungarian half of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Roosevelt's visit was part of his grand tour of the capital cities of Europe and was widely reported in the international press.

 

Your task is to read these stories carefully and determine the country of origin for each story. Clues in the texts, and the differences between the three presentations of the events of that day, will help you answer this question.

 

Read the stories