You can use historical newspapers to find out how issues and events were reported during a specific time in history.
Contemporary Accounts: U.S. Media
One option is to check the Newspapers at the Center for Research Libraries. CRL has more than 12,000 U.S. and foreign newspapers (current and restrospective) at their facility in Chicago. Because the Rutgers Libraries are members, CRL will lend copies of newspapers (usually on microfilm) to Rutgers researchers .