Mediehistoriskt arkiv 56

Information Flows across the Baltic Sea: Towards a Computational Approach to Media History

Patrik Lundell, Hannu Salmi, Erik Edoff, Jani Marjanen, Petri Paju & Heli Rantala (eds.)

Today shared media content and virality represent significant phenomena, but they are not as unique to our current society as commonly assumed. More than a century before the internet, information circulated within a network of newspapers that borrowed texts from both nearby and distant sources. From the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, newspapers gradually gained greater significance as a technological medium. However, a fundamental yet often overlooked characteristic of these newspapers was their cut-and-paste nature, which facilitated the widespread dissemination of text items in time and space. Employing a computer-assisted methodology to identify chains of text reuse in over 7.5 million newspaper pages derived from 1629 distinct newspaper titles, Information Flows across the Baltic Sea introduces a comprehensive database of reused texts. It examines the types of content that traversed transnationally and those that remained local. By combining a digitally enhanced bird’s-eye view with meticulous close readings, the book widens our understanding of the cultural relations across the Baltic Sea.

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    Mediehistoriskt arkiv 56

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