A new article by Joop W. Koopmans, of University of Groningen, looks at the way 18th century Dutch news digests positioned themselves in relation to other news products of the time. The article focuses on the coverage of the 1748 Aix-la-Chapelle peace treaty.
Newspapers commonly made mistakes with names and dates while scrambling to report the signing of the treaty, Koopmans notes. News digests, on the other hand, had the benefit of retrospection, which allegedly made them more accurate and thus suitable to be stored for further reference.
The digests reinforced their authoritative image by being cautious with citing newspapers as their sources, even though they clearly did so and occasionnaly erred due to it, Koopmans writes.
The article “The Varying Lives and Layers of Mid-Eighteenth-Century News Reports” was published by the journal Media History. It is available online (abstract free).
Picture: Untitled by moritz320, licence CC0 1.0.