Mass Media in The 19th Century

For my Google NGram, I decided to search these three words: journalism, newspaper and magazine. Journalism was the lowest of the three, magazine being in the middle and newspaper being at the top. Here is my Ngram:

 Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 8.40.10 AM

After doing a bit of research, I figured out some of the reasons why I found these results.


-According to, an act passed in 1855 made print media less expensive.

“On 15 June 1855, the Stamp Act was passed, an act to amend the laws relating to the stamp duties on newspapers, and to provide for the transmission by post of printed periodical publications. The act abolished the stamp duty on newspapers, thus reducing the cost of such publications.” (,)

Obviously if something is cheaper, it’s going to become a lot more popular than it ever was before!

Another fact of why newspapers were more popular during this time had to do with the introduction of the Sholes & Glidden Type-Writer in 1874. This enabled many people to be able to report on things and type up their own stories. This also helped with the daily production of papers because there was now a simpler and faster way to produce your works.


Magazines: In my research, I found that most magazines were mainly connected to the advancements that newspapers had undergone as well. The typewriter had a huge amount to do with the influx of magazines from its invention in 1874.


Journalism: In terms of this realm, it was based more off of the thinking of the era and the opinions that people had. Back in this era reporters did not have the values that reporters of today had. Therefore, the definition of journalism being the seeking of truth really hadn’t even been established yet during this time. Any newspaper that was published, was more of a propaganda and opinion pamphlet than actual unbiased news.


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