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This article explores what producers and observers of the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American print marketplace understood an appropriate report of the world to be and how social forces and cultural values shaped this understanding. In doing so, it analyzes the discourse in print industry trade publications from 1885 to 1910. This study charts the rise and passing of a particular discourse about literary work and facticity, a discourse that reflected differing ideas and intense cultural negotiation about appropriate representational strategies, prose style, voice, and genre in print culture, including imaginative and journalistic expression. The formerly distinct but fluid genres of literature and journalism separated into rigid categories of public expression.