The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XXI. Newspapers, 1775–1860.

§ 13. The Sun.

The idea which he did much to develop rested on the success of the one-cent press created by the establishment of the New York Sun in 1833. To pay at such a price these papers must have large circulations, sought among the public that had not been accustomed to buy papers, and gained by printing news of the street, shop, and factory. To reach this public Bennett began the New York Herald, a small paper, fresh, sprightly, terse, and “newsy.”
“In journalistic débuts of this kind,” he wrote, “many talk of principle—political principle, party principle—as a sort of steel trap to catch the public. We … disdain … all principle, as it is called, all party, all politics. Our only guide shall be good, sound, practical common sense, applicable to the business and bosoms of men engaged in every-day life.”
News was but a commodity, the furnishing of which was a business transaction only, which ignored the social responsibility of the press, “the grave importance of our vocation,” prized of the elder journalists and of the still powerful six-cent papers. The Herald, like the Sun, was at once successful, and was remarkably influential in altering journalistic practices.