For many contemporaries in late eighteenth-century England, the influence which the press exerted over politics and public opinion was a blessing which both prevented politicians from misusing their power and gave the people a voice. Others felt that newspapers were capable of misleading the public and creating unrest. Yet most are united in their belief that the press had a particularly powerful position in society. By stressing the commercial concerns of newspaper editors and proprietors, and by examining the links between newspapers and their readers, this book has challenged the existing historiography of the press, and emphasised the role of public opinion in determining newspaper contents.
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