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Today in Media History: Novelist and journalist Charles Dickens started a newspaper in 1846

“The principles advocated in the Daily News will be principles of progress and improvement; of education, civil and religious liberty, and equal legislation.”

– Charles Dickens quote about his newspaper, “The Daily News”

Although he is best know for novels such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens was also a journalist.

On January 21, 1846, you could buy the first edition of his newspaper, “The Daily News.”

"The Daily News", January 21, 1846, Kenyon Starling Library Image

“The Daily News”, January 21, 1846, Kenyon Starling Library Image

“Charles Dickens was a supporter of the Liberal Party and in 1845 he began to consider the idea of publishing a daily newspaper that could compete with the more conservative The Times….The first edition of The Daily News was published on 21st January 1846.

….Dickens employed his great friend and fellow social reformer, Douglas Jerrold, as the newspaper’s sub-editor. William Henry Wills joined the newspaper as assistant editor. Dickens put his father, John Dickens, in charge of the reporters. He also paid his father-in-law, George Hogarth, five guineas a week to write on music.

….The Times had a circulation of 25,000 copies and sold for sevenpence, whereas The Daily News, provided eight pages for fivepence. At first it sold 10,000 copies but soon fell to less than 4,000. Dickens told his friends that he missed writing novels and after seventeen issues he handed it over to his close friend, John Forster.”

Charles Dickens: Journalist
Spartacus Educational

This video from the “Guardian” introduces us to the life of Dickens. It mentions two of the magazines he published: “Household Words” and “All the Year Round.”

“…. if you glance over Dickens’s biography, you might almost conclude that he was primarily a journalist who wrote fiction on the side. Scholars estimate that during the roughly 35 years of his active career he produced more than a million words of nonfiction. By his early twenties Dickens was already acknowledged as the best Parliamentary reporter in England. His first book, Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People (1836) collects a series of ‘you-are-there’ newspaper reports on ‘shabby genteel’ London in the mid 1830s.”

– “Charles Dickens as Journalist
The Christian Science Monitor, February 16, 2012

The following timeline about Dickens as a journalist/editor comes from the Dickens Fellowship:

Freelance law reporter (1829-31)

Parliamentary reporter, “The Mirror of Parliament” (1831-32)

Reporter, “True Sun” (1832-34)

Reporter, “The Morning Chronicle” (1834-36)

Editor, “Bentley’s Miscellany” (1837-39)

Founder and Editor, “Master Humphrey’s Clock” (1840-41)

Editor, “The Daily News” (1846)

Co-founder and Editor, “Household Words” (1850-59)

Founder and Editor, “All the Year Round” (1859-70)

This 21st century Google Doodle honors the 19th century journalist (and novelist) Charles Dickens:

Read more

from Poynter. http://ift.tt/15y3d1i

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