SMC315 Newspapers

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St. Michael's College Courses
Jennifer Harris

SMC315 Monday, September 26, 2011 Why of newspapers - Habermas origin of public sphere • • autonomous space between state and society where individuals freely discuss problems of common concern • public sphere steers political action • coffeehouses where information not controlled by elites, largely indifferent to social status, place where news and business exchanged • seats of English liberty • next sphere: newspapers • “news” from “new” 14th c • Egyptians: papyrus bulletins 2400BCE • Romans: Acta Diurna - 131 BCE-330CE • Chinese: Bulletins written on silk 5th C • Italians: avvisi 1550s cost: one gazetta • gazetta becomes English word for Gazette • first official government publication: London Gazette -> American colonies -> Canadian colonies1700s Canadian Newspaper Periods • Gazette/transplant period: 1750-1800 • public sphere period: 1800-ca.1850 • nation-building/myth-making: 1850-ca.1880 • commercial period: 1870-1930 mass media/chain ownership: 1930-1970 • • chameleon period/struggles: 1970 Transplant Period 1752: John Bushell from Boston publishes first issues of Halifax Gazette • • 1807: John Ryan, American expatriate, publishes first issue of Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advisor • all but one Cdn newspaper started by Americans King’s printer/Queen’s printer, official government printing • • 3 factors • British-American colonies settled earlier than British-Canadian, concept more advanced in America thus • French government bars printing presses from Quebec to keep colony dependent on motherland, brought in after Conquest • 50,000 British loyalist move north after American Revolution 1763, bringing presses • all start life as official/semi-official organs of government • all dependent on government patronage SMC315 Monday, September 26, 2011 • hugely popular - Susanna Moodie quote Canadian need newspaper like American need tobacco more than government organs • • introduce print culture into British North America • ideal of intellectual awareness as readers wait for new information • fostered reading public • principal printing establishments in communities • foreign news, commercial information, local poems, ballads, legends, recipes, amateur essays, science and agricultural information • almanacs, church sermons, pamphlets • but no political sphere at first • obstacles: prohibition on publishing legislature proceedings and threat of being charged with criminal or seditious libel Primary Political Issue: “Responsible Government” • responsible government: executive branch is responsible --answerable-- to the elected legislature; no las passed without elected legislative approval • not how Upper Canada works; appointed executive answerable to colonial governor who is answerable to Britain • takes 65 years to fix •
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