Double Indemnity

History’s Most Notorious True Crime Story

How New York City's tabloids sensationalized the murder case that inspired the classic film noir Double Indemnity.
Hogarth crime

The First Moral Panic: London, 1744

The late summer crime wave of 1744 London sparked an intense moral panic about crime that burnt itself out by the new year. But not before heads rolled.
Great Moon Hoax Sun

How the Sun Conned the World With “The Great Moon Hoax”

The birth of the penny press, the first mass media, was very much mixed up with fake news, including the Great Moon Hoax of 1835.
Citizen Kane William Randolph Hearst

Why William Randolph Hearst Hated Citizen Kane

Most Americans know about William Randolph Hearst through his fictional alter-ego, the protagonist of the film Citizen Kane. Was it an accurate portrait?
Nineteenth century British periodicals

Nineteenth-Century Clickbait

Online publications that offer clickbait and easy entertainment mirror some of the most popular nineteenth century British magazines.
true crime pamphlet

The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre

True Crime is having a renaissance with popular TV series and podcasts. But the history of the genre dates back much further.
Hulk Hogan (left) and Nick Denton (right)

How Hulk Hogan v. Gawker May Change the Face of Journalism

The recent Gawker vs. Hogan spat is the latest in the long history of journalism, free speech, gossip, and the law.
Woodpulp pile

Pulp Nonfiction: The Unlikely Origin of American Mass Media

How wood pulp paper created the American mass media.
Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Internet Didn’t Doom the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune; Katrina Did

The Times-Picayune had no choice after Katrina but to publish primarily online.

Anonymity and Public Debate—in the 1800s

But 150 years ago in Great Britain, the question of what role anonymity should play in public discourse looked completely different than today.