Summer Intensive: The History of News from Street Ballads to Social Media


Macmahon Ball Theatre, Old Arts (Building 149), The University of Melbourne, Parkville


More Information

Brittany Wilkins

T: +61 3 9035 5092

A brand-new intensive short course presented by the Faculty of Arts, 'The History of News from Street Ballads to Social Media' will run for four days, 14-17 January, 9.30am-12.00pm

This course will provide an overview of important trends in the history of news over the last 500 years. Drawing examples from several European countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, we will discuss changes in the way news was produced, distributed and experienced by people. From handwritten newsletters and ballads sung on the street to printed newspapers and telegraphic dispatches; from coffeehouses and reading rooms to radio broadcasts and social media - this Summer Intensive will consider how changes in technology, politics, and culture have transformed the production and circulation of news. Along the way we will examine recurring debates about press freedom, access to information, the proper role of journalists, and the effects of news consumption on individuals and society. At a moment in which misinformation and "fake news" are matters of serious concern, studying the history of news can help us to better understand the stakes of recent changes in the media landscape.

A range of speakers from across the University, the world of journalism, and international academia will come together to answer the question: What is news and how does it shape our understanding of the world?

This Summer Intensive is perfect for those who want to learn more about the history of news and the origins of our current information society. No prior study of history or journalism is required, and this course is non-accredited.

Cost: $350 / $300*

For full course details, follow the information link on this page, or click 'book now'.

*University of Melbourne students, staff and alumni. Prices are GST inclusive. Individual session tickets are not available for this program as it is designed to be enjoyed as a course.


Dr Will Slauter, Université Paris Diderot

Dr Will Slauter received a PhD in history from Princeton University and taught at Columbia University and Florida State University before relocating to France. He currently teaches at Université Paris Diderot and is a member of the Institut universitaire de France. His research interests include the history of authorship and publishing, the history of journalism, and the history of copyright law. He is the author of Who Owns the News? A History of Copyright (Stanford University Press, 2019).