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Revolution creates freer press

Posted by: | September 23, 2014 | No Comment |


Prior to the Revolution in 1789, press in France was heavily controlled. Reporters/writers who ignored these regulations and published seditious or defamatory material were quickly subject to consequences, increasing from public flogging on the first offense to the death penalty for any following.

Jack Richard Censer discusses these conditions in his book Press and Politics in Pre-revolutionary France and says that although they’re not ideal, they helped to create the uprise that lead to the Revolution. The longer that these limitations existed, the more the French public wanted to push against them and call for change.

Periodicals began to circle, sharing opinions of the public rather than those influenced by the king and his ministry. This information helped to fuel the fire that was already beginning to build and lead to the French Revolution.

The Revolution lead to a lot of important changes in France, from the structure of government to the public’s frame of thinking. One that isn’t discussed as often that is just as, if not more, important is the freedom that the French press gained. With the dissolve of the previous government structure, the regulations were lifted, creating a “press revolution” and allowing reporters to share public opinions and other information more freely.

under: Comm 455
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