Newspapers and Magazines

Christine A. Modey

in The Oxford Handbook of Early American Literature

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195187274
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Newspapers and Magazines

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


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This article discusses the importance of newspapers and magazines in American literature. When they originated in the American colonies, newspapers were not intended or used for criticism of the government or for propaganda in the way John Dickinson and his audience had come to accept. Rather, newspapers evolved over the first half of the eighteenth century from conveyers of impartial news reports to vehicles of revolutionary propaganda, eventually becoming the dominant agent in American print culture and in the American public sphere in the decades prior to the Revolution. Their development illustrates the interrelation of face-to-face and printed exchanges of information, the consolidation and adaptation of English periodical forms and the increasing politicization of American public discourse. A discourse on the freedom of the press and the importance of magazines comes at the end of the article.

Keywords: newspapers; magazines; news; reports; news reports; American literature; English periodical

Article.  9634 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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