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Professor Publishes Monograph on Newspaper Competition

May 6, 2009

Patrick Daley, associate professor of communication has published a monograph titled "Newspaper Competition and Public Spheres in New Hampshire in the Early Revolutionary Period" in Journalism Communication Monographs, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2009. 

The monograph is a case study of newspaper competition in New Hampshire between the province's official newspaper and the upstart Whig challenger in the period marked by contention over the Stamp Act (1765-1766) and over the tight oligarchical reign of the Wentworth family.

The case study is grounded in the civic republican tradition articulated by Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood as well as the revisionist scholarship since the 1960s that takes the role of the "little people" seriously.

It maintains that the competition between the two newspapers contributed to, and opened up, the public spaces in Portsmouth to a wider compass than might have been predicted if one follows the standard Habermasian argument for the development of a bourgeois public sphere. In part, these more diverse public spheres grew out of a staple of ritualized communication speeches at both the local and intercolonial levels.

The paper traces the provenance of these reports to the rough music of the colonists' English ancestors so beautifully articulated by E.P. Thompson. The Whig challenger also championed a rollicking and irreverent, rhetorical epistolary form that involved status reversals and mocked deference in a highly amusing yet serious, manner.

The monograph is available in microfilm format at both the Dimond Library and the Portsmouth Athenaeum.

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