“He who destroys a good Book, kills reason itself, kills the Image of God.” It was 1644 when English poet, writer and statesman John Milton pronounced these words before the British Parliament. They were the core of what is probably Milton’s most famous political speech and pamphlet, “Areopagitica.” As Sir Richard Jebb explains in his commentary to this speech, Milton wanted to persuade the Parliament to rescind their Licensing Order of June 16, 1643, which introduced a rigid censorship and brought publishing under government control.
Only two centuries had passed since German printer Johannes Gutenberg had introduced printing to Europe and published the so-called “Gutenberg Bible,” the first book printed in the West. As the EGO - European History Online project explains, the easy reproduction of text in large quantity unleashed a centuries-long battle for the freedom of the press in Europe. EGO is a multimedia, transcultural project published by the Leibniz Institute of European History. It offers a fascinating approach to the history of Europe, focused on the past 500 years, and it has a chapter on media, censorship and freedom of the press in Europe. Understanding Europe’s modern media landscape requires a brief overview of its history.
According to EGO, “Initially, it was the church which imposed censorship, though institutions of the state soon became involved as well.” The former focused its efforts on the publication of books, while the latter also tried to control the nascent news industry. In the 16th and 17th century, England was at the forefront of this battle. In that period, London was already the main European hub for international news, along with V...
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...different stories to different U.S. news outlets, depending on the issue and the region the story focuses on.
Moreover, according to several analyses and reports, such as the Nieman Institute’s “The Future of Foreign News,” and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy’s “Foreign News Coverage: The U.S. Media 's Undervalued Asset,” despite slight declines after the peaks in 2006 and 2011, the demand for foreign news in the U.S. is still higher than it was in the 1990s. Two main demographic groups seem to form the bulk of the demand: middle-aged, wealthy and highly-educated professionals and millennials. These groups are interested in different issues and different kinds of reporting, offering journalists a wide array of stories and formats to focus on. As I explained, these groups are well represented in the European communities in the U.S.
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