A Satirical News Aggregator in Eighteenth-Century London

Abstract : A satirical weekly paper called the Grub-Street Journal ( GSJ 1730–1737) offered an innovative approach to managing the flow of unverified and contradictory reports that accompanied the growth of newspapers in eighteenth-century London. Using the fictional persona of ‘Quidnunc’ (a contemporary term for news addicts), the editor Richard Russel compiled accounts of the same event from several newspapers and juxtaposed them on the page, thereby revealing their similarities and differences. Russel’s manual version of news ‘aggregation’ exposed errors and contradictions, but it also provided readers with details that would have otherwise required consulting several sources. Meanwhile, Quidnunc interjected ironic remarks, poking fun at the pretensions of news writers, politicians, and others. Anchored in the literary culture of its time, and drawing on learned traditions of textual editing, the GSJ offered readers an eighteenth-century version of media criticism through satire.
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Contributor : Will Slauter <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 12:32:30 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 4, 2019 - 5:33:32 PM




Will Slauter. A Satirical News Aggregator in Eighteenth-Century London. Media History, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2016, 22 (3-4), pp.371-385. ⟨http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2016.1209403⟩. ⟨10.1080/13688804.2016.1209403⟩. ⟨hal-01379281⟩



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