Blogging in the 17th Century

“…modern journalism was born via a precursor of the blog. Nobles, such as Cardinal Mazarin, hired their own “journalists” to report on scandal and sex in the city.  These writers set up bureaus around Paris to get the juiciest news, and it was written and copied and distributed to subscribers. Literary reviews and newspapers soon blossomed, along with letters to the editor and a new environment of literary and cultural criticism.”–“New social media? Same old, same old, say Stanford experts”, November 2, 2011

“In the early modern period… political information came to be bought and sold in appreciable quantities for the first time… the most daring paddlers of news… were not large printing houses or journalism tycoons but [Italian] writers and distributors of the so-called avvisi, or handwritten newsletters, serving customers all over Europe… Forging the new genre from a hybrid of diplomatic and commercial correspondence, they began to circulate their newsletters.. by the later half of the sixteenth century. In spite of almost continuous prosecution, they eventually provided, along with plain information and misinformation, the most mordant and incisive commentary on and criticism of contemporary governments available anywhere” – Brendan Dooley, The Social History of Skepticism, 1999

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