Defining Journalists in Late-Nineteenth Century Britain

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses journalists’ memoirs, professional publications, and handbooks to show how British journalists projected images of themselves in the late nineteenth century. In a period of professional and social insecurity, journalists employed such self-presentations as a way of legitimizing their “title to be heard” in the public sphere. Rather than demand that journalism be converted into a closed profession comparable to law or medicine, journalists presented theirs as an “open profession” in which ability and hard work automatically led to success. Although such self-projections legitimized the status of elite journalists, they hampered attempts to improve journalists’ working conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138 - 155
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article was originally presented at the Middle Atlantic Conference on British Studies and the North American Conference on British Studies.


  • Britain, Journalists
  • Nineteenth Century
  • Autobiography
  • Professionalization


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