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Newspaper reporting and attitudes to crime and justice in late eighteenth and early nineteeth century London

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Abstract

This paper is based on extensive research in the newspaper archives of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century London. It is the first attempt to analyse the overall crime and justice content of a carefully selected sample of newspapers at various points in the period. It looks at the various, and often contradictory, messages the newspapeers contained about the prevalence of crime, about policing and detection and about the ways the courts dealt with offenders. It also looks in a quantitiative way at change over time in the content of law and order news as well as analysing the key discursive frameworks which dominated the reporting of crime and justice in this period. C & C's reviewers comments included - 1 'This is an intelligent article that is pioneering research into a new area of the history of crime and justice. It provides fresh thinking about how the fear of crime may have been generated' ; 2 'A good article...based on a significant amount of research'; 3 'I thought this was very much the best of the submissions for this special issue'. An earlier version of this paper was first given at the Institute of Historical Research in London in March 2006. This greatly revised and extended version has been accepted for publicaton by Continuity and Change on condition of minor amendements. It will be publiseh in a special edition in 2007

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