From pamphleteer to blogger in 250 years

From Slashdot News Story | Journalists Looking For Government Money

Re:good description (Score:5, Insightful)

by Philip K Dickhead (906971) <> on Saturday October 31, @11:32AM (#29934851)

250 years ago, there were no “newspapers”. They were technologically impossible, and demographically unreadable.

We had broadsheets for the limited press-runs we were capable of. And for the limited, literate population of large cities. These were pasted as bills, and informally circulated in the leaf.

In the time of the American and French revolutions, the day belonged to the pamphleteer. His screeds, fulminations and genuine insights were the fuel for popular discourses. When the American Constitution enshrined a freedom for the press in basic law, it was the pamphleteer and “almanack” editor for whom this waas a guarantee. You may recognize the pamphleteer.

Today we call him “the blogger”.

Newspapers grew, as a 19th century phenomenon for the obvious reasons we implied, as literate middle-classes expanded in the cities, with money to spend. Industrial papermaking and printing replaced paper-hanging and letter-press, and it became possible to turn the massive engines of industry to something as trivial as glorified broadsheets, rather than simply the production of necessities. In fact, investment capital seeking returns, demanded finding new avenues for industrialization. The newspaper was born.

Now that the demands and opportunities of 19th century central industrialization have passed from the page of history, why should the newspaper magically be granted an existence, into perpetuity? They did not found our societies, and were instrumental mostly in our worst excesses and prejudices, not in promoting our best values and opportunities.

If they still make buggy-whips, let their time fade away.

Re:good description (Score:4, Informative)

by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday October 31, @01:09PM (#29935447)

250 years ago, there were no “newspapers”. They were technologically impossible, and demographically unreadable.

That’s only true if you completely-and-totally ignore the existence of founding father Benjamin Franklin. He ran a weekly Philadelphia newspaper for several decades, and became so rich he was able to retire at age 40 (circa 1750). Granted he also earned money from publishing other people’s books, but to say newspapers were not possible is an untruth.

I bet the major cities of Europe also had newspapers in the 1700s.

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