Perceptions of the Press in Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals: A Bibliography
This annotated bibliography of nineteenth-century British periodicals, complete with a detailed subject index, reveals how Victorian commentaries on journalism shaped the discourse on the origins and contemporary character of the domestic, imperial and foreign press. Drawn from a wide range of publications that represent diverse political, economic, religious, social and literary views, this book contains over 4,500 entries, and features extracts from over 40 nineteenth-century periodicals.
The featured articles discuss both the prior and the contemporary press, from annuals to dailies, and examine topics such as circulation, content, audience and personnel. These nineteenth-century commentaries offer both a thorough and influential analysis of their journalistic milieu, presenting statistics on sales and descriptions of advertising, passing judgment on space allocations, pinpointing different readerships, and identifying individuals who engaged with the press either exclusively or occasionally.
The essays also examine the impact of outside forces – including technology, taxation, capitalism and compulsory education – whilst assessments of the press abroad add the further considerations of geography, ethnicity, resources and restraints to the collective analysis. Most importantly, the bibliography demonstrates that columnists routinely articulated ideas about the purpose of the press, yet rarely recognized the illogic of prioritizing public good and private profit simultaneously. The volume thus highlights implicitly a universal characteristic of journalism: its fractious, ambiguous, conflicting behavior – an endemic trait that appears to have survived well into the twenty-first century.
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