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Journalism, History and Economics of

The formation of modernity brought high expectations regarding the role of journalism, broadly conceived as the activity of compiling, evaluating, creating, and publicly supplying news and information, in the promotion a more enlightened society, although there has long been skepticism around these expectations. Mass communication research in the 20th century usually highlights the role of newspapers, and more generically the media, in the procedures of information and social cohesion. However, newspapers and other media are subject to tension resulting from the fact that they are simultaneously a cultural good and also a commercial and a political product. This entry discusses the emergence of the press in the 17th century, the rise of the notion of freedom of the press and its importance to republican and ...

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