Defining Journalists in Late-Nineteenth Century Britain

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

14 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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