Censoring Class Consciousness in the Nineteenth Century

Restrictions on cinema were folded into a more complex global matrix of censorship, lies, and selective truth-telling. By Eric Berkowitz, J.D.Writer, Lawyer, and Journalist “The barbarians that threaten society,” declared a French legislative deputy in the early 1830s, are the “[working classes] of our manufacturing towns.” In France, and throughout nineteenth-century Europe, elites were intent[…]

Bean Press: The Value of Local Newspapers and Local Issues

The best op-ed pages operate like a town square, allowing readers to discuss and debate issues important to their communities. By Dr. Johanna DunawayAssociate Professor of CommunicationTexas A&M University By Dr. Joshua P. DarrAssistant Professor of Political CommunicationLouisiana State University By Dr. Matthew P. HittAssistant Professor of Political ScienceColorado State University Introduction If you’re confused[…]

‘Newsies’: American Newsboys during the Great War and the Flu Pandemic

Movies and songs about newsboys proliferated during the period. By Dr. Vincent DiGirolamoAssociate Professor of HistoryBaruch CollegeCity University of New York (CUNY) World War I presented new opportunities to honor newsboys, particularly those who joined the armed forces. The Boston Globe made a minor celebrity of Fifekey Bernstein, the first Boston newsboy to enlist in the war.[…]

Elijah Lovejoy Faced Down Violent Mobs to Champion Abolition and Press Freedom in 1837

Lovejoy belonged to a small fraternity of editor who used their printing presses in the decades before the Civil War to call for an end to chattel slavery. By Ken EllingwoodFormer Staff WriterLos Angeles Times It was gratifying that Rep. Jamie Raskin would invoke an obscure 19th century newspaper editor while laying out the impeachment[…]

The People vs. Tyranny: The Secular Martyrdom of John Lilburne

John Lilburne, reading from Coke’s Institutes of the Lawes of England (1628-44) at his trial for high treason in 1649. Photo courtesy The British Library/Public Domain He was a 17th-century champion of legal rights that are important to us all. By Dr. Michael Braddick / 11.26.2018 Professor of History (Early Modern England) University of Sheffield The English[…]

The President, the Press, and Proximity: The History of the White House Press Center

White House Press Corps, 1918 In light of the relationship between the press and the president, the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room holds both symbolic and functional significance. By James A. Jacobs Professor Emeritus of Journalism and English Diablo Valley College Introduction Reporters use telephones located in the White House Press Room to call the[…]

From Town Criers to Newsprint: The Evolution of Early Newspapers in England

At the dawn of the 17th century, early newspapers began to replace oral news. 10.28.2012 Theory behind the Emergence of the Newspaper At the dawn of the 17th century, early newspapers began to replace oral news by manufacturing natural events to fit a single page. Bolter (2001) would refer to this shift in communication as[…]

Henry David Thoreau’s Views of 19th-Century Media

A statue of Henry David Thoreau in front of a replica of his cabin in Concord, Massachusetts. Chris Devers Thoreau spent his life pursuing the ‘hard bottom’ of truth. But he confronted a sensationalist newspaper industry. By Dr. Mark Canada / 08.01.2017 Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Indiana University Kokomo The world knows Henry David Thoreau as[…]

Thomas Jefferson and the Free Press

Jefferson’s faith in free presses was ultimately faith in the people with a moral sensibility sufficient to be a check on abusive government. By Dr. Mark Andrew Holowchak / 09.15.2018 Professor of Philosophy University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Perhaps not unlike other prominent politicians of his time, Thomas Jefferson had an ambivalent relationship with[…]

The Birth of Mass Media: Printmaking in Early Modern Europe

It can be hard to fathom the society-altering impact the new printed image had when it first appeared in Europe around 1400. By Dr. Alison Stewart Hixson-Lied Professor of Art History University of Nebraska-Lincoln It is hardly too much to say that since the invention of writing there has been no more important invention than[…]

How Woodrow Wilson’s Propaganda Machine Changed American Journalism

The censorship board. George Creel is seated at far right. Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress An executive order signed in 1917 created what’s been called ‘the nation’s first ministry of information.’ The media are still feeling its impact. By Dr. Christopher B. Daly / 04.27.2017 Professor of Journalism Boston University When the United States declared[…]

Censorship and Freedom of the Press in the Early Modern Period

Illustration showing a printing press designed in 1850 by Hippolyte Marinoni and called L’Universelle (the Universal) / Public Domain By Dr. Jürgen Wilke / 05.08.2013 Professor of Journalism and Communications Johannes Gutenberg University Introduction Censorship as a means of controlling communication has existed since classical antiquity. However, it became significantly more important in the early modern period[…]

Press Attacks during the Administration of George Washington

At the time of his inauguration, George Washington was described in almost universally glorified terms by the national presses. However, by the end of the President’s first term, hostile newspaper writers were attacking the administration’s domestic and foreign policy. These attacks escalated in Washington’s second term into personal attacks questioning his integrity, republican principles, and even military[…]