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Exporting Impartiality

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Chapter Summary

The theme of the author is the role of impartiality, and some related words and concepts like truth, matters of fact, intelligence, in news discourse in seventeenth century Britain. Impartiality had to survive the rigours of geography as well as time. The subsidiary theme is how notions of impartiality were deployed within a pan-European network of communications that is divided by language, political allegiance, and confessional antipathy. One way of tracing the history of impartiality would be to map shifts in the conceptual field around it. Across the breadth of early modern print culture the word most commonly qualified by 'impartial' in early-modern English was 'reader'. 'Impartiality' is the true arbiter of 'Philosophical Inquisitions'; yet status and wealth lead to superior judgement. There is perhaps a chiasmus implicit in the formation of the term and concept of impartiality, at least as it is deployed in news culture.

Keywords: 'Philosophical Inquisitions'; Britain; early-modern English; impartiality; news culture; pan-European network

10.1163/9789004260849_006
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