Yellow Journalism refers mainly to the 1890 circulation war between rival paper and magazine companies. Wanting to outsell their competitors, journalists would alter facts for a better story. Not only would false stories be published, but periodically publish photographs on news print.

Yellow Journalism is usually thought of when talking about the Spanish-American War and/or William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pultizer.

Historians refer to the Spanish-American War as the first press-driven war. Hearst and Pultizer used eccentric headlines to fuel public passion for the war.

Hearst said, "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." This describes what yellow journalism was all about. Things were fabricated and catchy so newspapers could gain more readers.

It was at the end of these ethically questionable times that the first set of journalism standards were agreed upon. Today the term Yellow Journalism is  used to identify unethical journalism.