selected events and meetings throughout the country that tended to show reformers in a positive light. The view from London was that the provincial press represented an echo of what was happening in the capital, albeit on occasions an impressive and resounding echo. Lord John Russell wrote in 1821: "What statesman can bear with unshaken nerves that voice which, beginning in the whispers of the metropolis, rises into the loud tone of defiance within the walls of parliament, and is then prolonged by means of the hundred mouths of the press until its innumerable echoes rebound from the shores of Cornwall and the mountains of Inverness?" 65
The evidence from Newcastle and Bristol suggests that rather than representing a mere echo, reform newspapers maintained an independent and self-sustaining agenda of their own and could possess considerable local influence.