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The Background, 1822–1918

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Chapter Summary

English-language newspapers have been published in Asia since the eighteenth century. In East Asia, with the exception of enclaves such as Macao, the roots of the English-language press lie in the treaty ports, beginning in Canton in 1827 and in Nagasaki in 1861. This chapter describes the interrelated incidents that exhibit many of the patterns of journalistic behaviour, media relationships and official attitudes that shaped the networks of the English- language press of East Asia during the period under review. Even at this early stage, Japanese officialdom was making the moves that would characterize its long- term effort to counter negative images of Japan. Historically, the personal connections between British officials in Tokyo and London and the foreign managers and writers employed by Japan's semi- official propaganda programmes were often better established than the links between British officials and journalists on more independent organs, such as the Japan Chronicle.

Keywords: British officials; East Asia; English-language newspapers; Japan; Japan Chronicle; London; Macao; Tokyo

10.1163/ej.9781905246670.i-414.15
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