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Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Collodion Process, Mathew Brady, Daguerreotype

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Lecture 4: October 4, 2011
Readers (Upper Canada)
-Circulation Rates: Growth
-Social Classes and Readers
-Subscription costs
-around $500 today for a year subscription
-Reading aloud/sharing newspapers
-non paying readers
Civic Newspaper
-Paying for this kind of newspaper. Not paying for great illustrations or photos, it was mainly
just writing.
Yellow Press/Mass/Entertainment Newspaper
-Joseph Pulitzer (World) 1883
-Advertising over subscription
-Realization that you don’t have to charge people that much money. Lower the
price (penny per copy) and get money from ads. Ads were prime source of
-Local news, crime, scandal
-Self Advertising
-Large Headlines
-Use paper
-Commuter Friendly
-Lead/Inverted Pyramid
-News writing style where first paragraph should embody the essence of the
story. You can get the gist of the story by reading the first paragraph.
-Two Canadian examples: Hugh Graham Montreal Star 1880s, John Robertson Toronto
-Higher Costs
-Local news (crime, scandal)
-Entertainment over information function
From Civiv to Mass Newspaper
Civic Newspaper (1820-1890)
(Democratic Sociability)
-political advocate
-public defender
-public responsibility
-civic education
-editor-publisher, small shop
-opinion making
-editorial pages
-public record of legislative proceedings
-“public utility”

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Mass Newspaper (1890-)
-Commercial enterprise
-ad reliant
Space-Biased Media (Innis)
-liberty and monopolies of knowledge
-printing press
-democratic society
-fewer people are influencing the newspaper content
Early Photography
-Daguerrotype, 1839
-unique image
-photographic studios happening in toronto and new york.
-you couldn’t make copies of an image, just one
-had to be in studio to take photos, sit for a very long time, no action shots
-wet plate process, 1850s
-multiple prints from single glass negative
-replacement of daguerrotype that allowed you to make copies
-had to be in studio to take photos, sit for a very long time, no action shots
-not the most creative/inventive notions of photography
-dry plate process, 1870s
-no more portable darkrooms
-george dawson
-allowed for mobile photographic use. the processing system allowed you to take photos
outside, outdoors, around anywhere
-no flash system yet
-had to have natural lighting
Photographic Portraiture
-Mathew Brady (1840-1870s)
-Got famous people to stand for portraits, and enhanced the popularity of portraits through
-Promoted patriotism, nationalism
-Linked famous people with models of character, citizenship, virtue --> nationalism
-before the civil war there was a shortening of national unity so this brought people back
-dignified pictures
Democratic Portraiture
-Middle class and working class started making portraits
-Individual as coherent self
-Symbol of inner self
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