All other news (I mean lies): the forging of 17th-century news discourse in a sceptical news society

29 November 2017 - 18:00

Lecture in English by Nicholas Brownlees


In seventeenth-century England, at the beginning of English periodical news, news writers were very aware of how the news market of the time worked within a fundamental paradox: whilst there was a great demand for news there was an equally strong scepticism regarding the credibility of that very same news. In my lecture I shall contextualize and examine the reasons undermining the credibility of news dissemination and consider the rhetorical strategies news writers employed to emphasise the reliability and truthfulness of their information. We will see that the problems news writers faced, and the solutions they reached, were not so dissimilar from those nowadays.


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The 2017 autumn season is made possible by a generous donation from Alessandra and Michael Griffiths through the Michael Griffiths Trust in memory of their son John (Aug 4, 1970 - April 4, 2015).