The Blogs and News Aggregators That Killed News in the 1920s

From the book review of The Publisher, Alan Brinkley’s new biography of Henry Luce, the media entrepreneur who founded Time (in 1923), Fortune, Life, and Sports Illustrated.

“Luce and Hadden shared a contempt for what is now called the mainstream media, both the sensational tabloids and the serious dailies, which they regarded as dull and bloated. Brimming with precocious self-confidence, they conceived a weekly digest of news and analysis culled from other publications. The journal that was initially to be called Facts (but ­morphed into Time before its debut in 1923) promised to scour close to 90 periodicals and amalgamate news from every sphere of life. Its declared mission was to serve ‘the illiterate upper classes, the busy businessman, the tired debutante, to prepare them at least once a week for a table ­conversation….’ The new magazine had the qualities we associate now with blogs. It was concise and informal, with plenty of political topspin, rendered in a prose that inspired much satire.”

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