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London newsbooks and news management during the Interregnum 1649-1660

Meddelton, Geoffrey (2016) London newsbooks and news management during the Interregnum 1649-1660. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The subject of this thesis is news management in London during the Interregnum and early Restoration, 1649-1661. The focus will be on an area of media History previously neglected by scholars. There is a historical consensus that within London there was considerable opposition towards the governments of the Interregnum. However, the role of state sponsored news management as a mid-seventeenth Century innovation has been overlooked. The threat of royalist press, in particular The Man in The Moon, was that it directly challenged the official news spin in the Capital and aimed to mobilise discontent towards the authorities. Recognising the effect of critical print in mobilising discontent there, the regime made it a priority not only to stamp out the London based royalist underground press but also to cultivate a metropolitan news spin of its own. In fact, the passage of the licensing act in September 1649 was a watershed because it gave rise to a new experiment in state policy, the sponsoring of an official press. In a period when access to news became progressively restricted to known supporters of the regime in power in London, the official journals were, effectively, state institutions. Over the course of The Interregnum, they evolved from the more informal style copied from the royalist journals towards a much clearer delivery of news and even publicising of state policy. The journals also sought to manufacture a metropolitan identity and a civic patriotism. The Restoration government copied this experiment of news manipulation in the Capital but placed it on a legal basis. However, by highlighting the challenges to authority, London featured in the press as an issue of security, the official media drew attention to the degree of metropolitan dissent and pluralism and, therefore, the limits to effective news management.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Dr Geoffrey Meddelton
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 11:30
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2017 11:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16202

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