Blog Post Three

Continuing on with reading “The Rise of the Blogosphere” by Aaron Barlow, the history of the American press and how it came to be is described in chronological order. Starting with the time in which Benjamin Franklin was writing, Barlow describes the process of getting “news” out. What was considered news during the time of pre-Revolutionary America is much different than news of today. Because of the slow-moving nature of communication, news was not often shared in a timely manner. While local news, which was more like community based gossip was easily traveled by word of mouth, other events, especially those occurring across the Atlantic took much longer to pass along.

The trend of having community members who received letters from relatives overseas share the information those letters contained became a very common practice. Access to slow moving information was now starting to be more widespread. The practice of sharing private letters in order to share “news” definitely differs from the much more private nature of mail services today.

One of the points Barlow made that I found most interesting was that, “Even without resorting to direct censorship, government continued to try to control the printers and their newspapers, for they recognized the shift in power that popular discussion represented,” (4). The United States was founded on principles of free speech and freedom of the press, and to imagine a point in pre-American history in which that was not a priority is surprising.


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