Harold Innis e l'assalto alla modernità: l'industria dei quotidiani, la comunicazione, e il declino della vita pubblica = Harold Innis and the assault on modernity: the newspaper industry, communication, and the decline of public life


In most discussions of Harold Innis' work on communications, his contributions have been treated as those of a general media theorist. His analyses of particular media are commonly viewed simply as instances of his broader account of how space- and time-binding media serve to bias societies and civilizations. This paper argues that Innis' generalizations about media derived, in fact, from his examination of how a particular cluster of media - namely, printing and publishing, with particular reference to newspapers - was linked to the onset of modernity. These concerns were evident in his magisterial unpublished manuscript, History of Communication. Drawing on its periodization and overarching themes, this paper examines Innis' account of the newspaper industry as it developed between the American Revolution and the mid-point of the twentieth century. The historical trajectory that Innis traces, it is argued, reveals the specific concerns about printing and modernity that underpinned his general reflections about time- and space-binding communications.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n20p171

Keywords: Harold Innis; pres; newspaper; modernity; Canada; staples theory; communications

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