What is a newspaper? What are the different roles that newspapers have played in the past and what role(s) should they play today? Recent changes in the media landscape have led to a renewed interest in these questions. But the English term newspaper has always been somewhat misleading. The French term journal is suggestive of a unit of time (the day) but lacks explicit reference to the material form of the publication or its subject matter. The English term brings both to the surface: news-paper. Today the paper part of the term may seem like a reminder of another era in which physical newspapers were delivered to doorsteps, unfolded and refolded in Tube carriages, and left on public benches for the next person to enjoy or discard. News is increasingly encountered on computer screens, smart phones, and tablets. At many times in the past, however, it was arguably the news part of the term that could have seemed inadequate. The definition of news may be elusive, but it is clear that newspapers have almost never been limited to accounts of recent events. In eighteenth-century Britain and North America, newspapers contained letters to the printer on various subjects, as well as excerpts from books, official notices, and advertisements (which often took up most of the first page). In the nineteenth century, poems, short stories, and serial novels took on prominence in many newspapers, increasing their interest for readers. At other times, such as the British Isles in the 1640s and the United States in the 1790s, newspapers have aligned themselves with particular factions or advocated specific causes. The fact that such newspapers intervened in politics makes them all the more important to study, as Laurent Curelly’s book on The Moderate (1648-49) reveals. At that time the preferred term was newsbook rather than newspaper. Most news periodicals of the 1640s were short quarto pamphlets rather than the larger folios that later came to dominate English journalism. The form and content of news publications has varied significantly over time, and it is only by closely examining individual examples that we can begin to understand what role newspapers (or newsbooks or whatever else they were called) have played at different moments in the past.
You are invited to submit a book chapter for the upcoming book “New Generation Counter Electrode Materials for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells”, which will be published in Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Call For Papers: Literacy, empathy and social sustainability collection
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
What role can reading fiction play in social literacy? This collection is a health, social sustainability and reading. Within nursing education and schools the reading of fiction is part of the curriculum but voices can be heard asking if it is really that necessary and how it is useful. Librarians deal with literature every day. A perspective that these professions three share is that fiction can be a bridge in helping practitioners understand different perspectives, experiences and cultures.
James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture. He is currently participating in the ‘Meet our Authors‘ campaign: his full testimonial follows below.
James Combs is Professor Emeritus at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. He has been active in such academic associations as the Popular Culture Association and the International Communication Association. He is author and editor of a wide variety of books and articles, primarily on subjects related to social and political communication and popular culture, exploring such concepts as political drama, phony culture, the comedy of democracy, and the expansion of social play. His current research focus is in the broad field of popular experience, particularly the importance and variety of moving pictures.
After a number of years working in the fashion industry as a designer and pattern cutter, including management of both retail and wholesale elements of the trade, Penelope McElwee decided to follow her passion for art and architecture. She embarked on a BA degree around these subjects with the Open University, UK, and followed this with two Master’s degrees from Birkbeck College, UCL, and the Open University. In both instances her theses revolved around the white modern architecture of 1920s and 1930s France. The final culmination of her studies was the challenge of a PhD through Warnborough College, for whom she has additionally written several articles for their journal.
Robert Letellier’s productivity and his wonderful understanding of music, history, religion and context of time and place with regards to composition is brilliantly brought to the fore in this beautifully produced book, which offers such a wealth of easily digestible information.