Archive for the ‘boston gazette’ tag
Below is an excerpt from the blog post I guest authored for Timothy Hughes Rare Newspapers. It’s essentially a book review of Infamous Scribblers by Eric Burns. If you enjoy history and media, this one’s for you.
Perhaps what thrilled me the most about this book was its style. To me, Burns was masterful at marrying the story-telling flair of David McCullough with the newspaper history acumen of Mott, Emery and others. More so, I enjoyed learning several fun facts and exciting stories about many of the newspaper titles I see for sale at rarenewspapers.com or even hold in my own collection.
The Boston Gazette, according to Burns’ C-SPAN presentation on his book, is the most influential newspaper this country has ever known. He says the Gazette got us into the Revolutionary War, sped up the course of the war and may have even determined the outcome of the war. A good chunk of Infamous Scribblers is dedicated to supporting this thesis.
“Almost certainly the war would not have ended with an American victory in a period of seven years – from first shot to signed treaty – had not the newspapers constantly reminded the colonists of the cause they shared, thereby inspiring the valor of soldiers, and the patience and support of civilians,” Burns said.
He points out that newspapers were the only form of media at the time and served as the great unifier of our nation during a time when America “needed unity as much as we needed ammunition.”
On 18th century journalism: “As a rule, newspaper publishers of the time did not chase after interviews or hustle to the scenes of events with their juices flowing and pen fingers twitching. For the most part, they were denizens of the print shop, preferring that the news be spoken in their ears or slipped under their doors – that it be delivered to them, in other words, as spices were delivered to the grocer or bolts of clothes to the tailor.”
On reporting and publishing during the Revolutionary War: “The Revolutionary War was not an easy one to cover. For one thing, once the fighting started there was more news than ever but no more shipments of ink or type or spare parts for the presses coming into American ports. There were no more shipments of paper either, and, as for the quantities still available or smuggled into the colonies from a friend in the motherland or a trader in another European nation, there were higher priorities for it than journalism.”
Click here to read the entire blog post about the must-read book on American journalism history (includes a great video presentation by the author).