The past is prologue, or: How nineteenth-century journalism might just save twenty-first-century newspapers

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4 Scopus citations


The death of the American newspaper has been predicted for years now, and reasons offered to explain its demise are legion, ranging from the simple (the economy) to the self-effacing (journalistic narcissism). Some suggest the biggest problem is the lack of a viable business model, and to some extent they have a point. Metropolitan dailies, "the elite press," are having particular difficulty finding readers willing to pay for their content. This does not mean, however, that American journalism is on its way to extinction. It is possible to preserve the newspaper industry by looking to earlier forms of journalism, in the partisan press that dominated American journalism through the nineteenth century. In fact, some newspapers have already taken unwitting steps in this direction, and this paper will point to other practices that could also contribute to the preservation of American newspapers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2010



  • Business model
  • Nineteenth-century newspapers
  • Objectivity
  • Partisan press
  • Professional practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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