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The social and economic history of The Standard and Fleet Street 1653-1900

Griffiths, D.M. (1989). The social and economic history of The Standard and Fleet Street 1653-1900. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This dissertation examines the political, social and economic development of Fleet Street 1653-1900, using The Standard (1827-1900) as its model. The opening chapter traces the early fortunes of the Baldwin Family, the founders of The Standard and the struggle which the Baldwins and their colleagues waged for the establishment of a free press. Chapter Two deals with the launch of The Standard by Charles Baldwin in May 1827 in response to the urging of The Duke of Wellington and other High Tories. Under the editorship of Dr. Stanley Lees Giffard, the paper opposed Parliamentary Reform and the repeal of the Corn Laws and was strongly anti-Papist in outlook. The diverse personalities of two key figures in the paper's early days, Dr. William Maginn and Alaric Alexander Watts, are also discussed. Chapter Three is concerned with the involvement of governments and politicians with newspapers, with special emphasis on the relationship of Thomas Hamber and Disraeli and the estrangement of William Mudford and Robert Cecil, the Third Marquess of Salisbury. Economic structure and labour relations and the establishment of The St. James's Chronicle are covered in the ensuing chapter. Chapter Five is concerned with the costs and methods of producing a "national" newspaper and the problem of labour from the early chapels to the highly-organized unions of the 20th Century. The final chapters discuss the role of the reporter and "The New Journalism". The early struggle for a free press -- with reference to John Wilkes and "Junius" is -- reviewed followed by a discussion on Edward Baldwin, proprietor of The Standard, and his conflict with The Times. The role of the Special Correspondent, using The Standard as a model, is also discussed. The leaders of the "New Journalism" are examined with particular reference to W. T. Stead and The Pall Mall Gazette; T. P. O'Connor's Star; and the rivalry
between Alfred Harmsworth's Daily Mail and Arthur Pearson's Daily Express. Throughout this dissertation, the history of The Standard is linked with the growth of Fleet Street. The study ends with the purchase of The Standard by Pearson, resulting from the inability of its editor/manager, Mudford, to adapt to the changes in the press during the 19th Century and especially to the "New Journalism".

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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