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Title: A history of newspaper journalism in Belfast, 1855-1910
Author: Bartlett, Ciarán M. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 2925
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the character, content and legacy of newspaper journalism in Belfast between 1855 and 1910. It locates Belfast's press at this time as the successor of more radical journalism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and as a predecessor of the tabloid style or 'New Journalism ' which did not properly take hold in the North until the early twentieth century. Newspapers in Belfast at this time were sectarian, fragmented, overtly political, capitalist, decreasingly radical and highly competitive. Their coverage used an array of literary devices including language, layout, genre and rhetoric to convey meaning to their audiences. They not only reflected Belfast society but also acted as an influence on politics and publics order. They were a vital part of business and social aspects of the civic sphere. The key newspapers of the period of study were the Belfast News Letter, the Belfast Morning News/Irish News, and the Belfast Telegraph. These newspapers continue to exist as dailies and are still capable of providing insight into contemporary Belfast society. The legacy of the Belfast press between 1855 and 1910 can still be identified when it comes to understanding the same newspapers in a 21st Century setting. Until now, newspapers of this period have been used by historians as sources of factual information and historical detail rather than studied in their own right as important social, political, economic and cultural institutions in a developing Victorian city. This thesis provides a taxonomic survey of Belfast's newspapers before exploring newspaper content thematically in terms of sectarianism, business, constitutional and militant nationalism, and socialism. It references previous work by Anderson (1983), Conboy (2004, 2011), Palmegiano (2007), Wolff (1971), Pykett (1990) and others with a view to providing a strong theoretical framework which locates Belfast's press as part of a wider Irish press which must be understood fully before it can be compared to other nations' presses in the Victorian age. The thesis thus makes a major contribution to the field as it is the first rigorously academic document chronicling the history of the North of Ireland's foremost group of newspapers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available