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Republican citizenship, ethics and the French revolutionary press 1789-92

By Jane Chapman


This paper examines the role of the revolutionary press in France in the realisation of the Enlightenment notion of “public opinion”. The press, it is argued, saw itself as advancing civic republicanism based on public service as opposed to the liberal, individualistic ethic of today.\ud Exploring the relevance of Habermas’s theories of discourse ethics and MacIntyre’s notions of “communitarianism”, the paper argues that the revolutionary press promoted a\ud “democratisation” of honour. The conclusion draws on the theories of Sandel to argue that newspapers provided the crucial narratives by which people made sense of their condition and interpreted their shared experiences at a time of revolutionary upheaval

Topics: P300 Media studies, P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified, P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified, P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation, V221 French History, P500 Journalism
Publisher: Abramis Academic
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:

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  1. (1990). Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, Cambridge, Polity Press Hatin, E. (1860) Histoire politique et littéraire de la presse en France avec une introduction sur les origins (Vols 4 and 6), Paris, Poulet-Malassis et de Broise Held,
  2. (1986). The Right Wing Press in the French Revolution, 1789–1792, London, the Royal Historical Society Outhwaite,

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