The March of Journalism: The Story of the British Press from 1622 to the Present Day

The March of Journalism: The Story of the British Press from 1622 to the Present Day

The March of Journalism: The Story of the British Press from 1622 to the Present Day

The March of Journalism: The Story of the British Press from 1622 to the Present Day

Excerpt

Within the compass of a single volume it is not possible to give a detailed history of British journalism. To accomplish that task adequately--and no one has ever attempted it--would require a whole shelf of volumes. What this book aims to do is to provide an outline of the main developments in journalism, traced through the newspapers that chiefly influenced them, during three cen- turies--to describe the stages of evolution from the crude news- books of the seventeenth century to the modern newspapers and from the two-page essay papers and simple miscellanies of the eighteenth century to the reviews and magazines of today. If it has not been possible to give as much space as I should like (as a provincial-bred journalist) to provincial journalism, the reasons for compression will be obvious.

Journalism for the purpose of this volume comprehends both newspapers and periodicals. For the greater part of the time they have grown up together, and they have largely borrowed from each other. The serious daily newspaper of today publishes long authoritative articles of a type that once were to be found only in the monthly and quarterly reviews; the modern popular daily, and even more so the popular Sunday journal, is a combination of newspaper and magazine. The story of British journalism and of the prolonged struggle for freedom of expression cannot be properly told without describing the parallel development of the newspaper, the review and the magazine.

The distinction between a newspaper and a periodical is generally agreed to be impossible of completely exclusive defini- tion. I have followed the broad definition commonly accepted-- that a newspaper is a journal appearing at frequent intervals (usually daily or weekly) that is primarily devoted to reporting news. In borderline cases--as, for instance, Theodore Hook John Bull, which I have treated as a periodical--I have been guided by the main intention of the journal. Such weeklies as . . .

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