If William Caxton had never invented the Internet (or the Printing Press as we used to call it), things would have been so much easier. There would be no Fake News such as a Blogger like me saying that William Caxton invented the Printing Press. Much more accurate to say that Printing was invented on mainland Europe and Caxton introduced it to England.
When I first opened a History Text Book in September 1963, it was I believe called “The Age of Discovery” and over the next five years we had titles like the “Age of Reason”. It was five years from 1485 to 1945.
It was all there…in a Catholic grammar school, two books ran alongside each other. An accepted neutral version with accepted sub sections on Ireland at the same time. The second book highlighted Ireland and gave us the non-English version.
So Bosworth Field in 1485 with walk-on parts for Silken Thomas to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 with walk-on parts for De Valera.
William Caxton and his Printing Press had a paragraph all to himself. He (and his German counterparts) published books and people read them. Information for the masses….and Fake News for the masses.
The monopoly on written books was of course controlled by the Fathers of the Chapel….the monks in their monasteries and another complaint was the use of everyday language, rather than Latin. The monasteries were (what we now call) the mainstream media.
NEwspapers like to think of themselves as sacred. In monastic times, the chief illustrators were the Fathers of the Chapel. It is I believe a term still used in journalistic and printing circles. Fake News? Well am I right in saying that Fleet Street printers spent their nights signing in and out under such unlikely names as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Can REAL News be produced by FAKE printers?
I do not really have much time for a sneering attitude to the Mainstream Media. Certainly it is flawed. But I am bemused by the space afforded to the Huffington Post, The Hill, and a list of online “news” organisations.
I blame William Caxton and of course the Baghdad Blogger. He was the first and somehow we were told that we were all “citizen journalists”. For nearly two decades we have been told that the Internet would inform us and make us more discerning voters.
The Internet has not made us smart. It has made us stupid.