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ALTERNATIVE NEWS REVISITED

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new-logo25Author,Chuck Frank

 

Gutenberg Press1The Recreated Johann Gutenberg Press International Printing Museum, Carson, California

The printing revolution, was without a doubt, the main catalyst behind the Renaissance of Europe along with the Age of Enlightenment. Apart from the early periods of painstaking handwritten papers and scrolls, the invention of the Gutenberg printing press catapulted a new era of mass communications into orbit, which began in the 1440’s. Johann Gutenberg’s primary objective was a printing press that would mass produce the Holy Bible. Yet, this remarkable invention also brought a mountain of additional old and new knowledge to the ends of the earth which had never been read by most people in the history of the world.

The relatively unrestricted circulation of information and also any revolutionary and philosophical ideas, began to cross borders and oceans and opened the eyes of millions who had for centuries been either living in the dark ages or had been subjects to rogue political and religious orders that lorded their authority over the masses for centuries on end, but for the sake their own power, control and money. And for those who were either lords, kings or priests, the new “information age” of newspapers and books threatened not only the elite’s comfort zone, but their own authority which they exercised upon the people. Thus, Kings, Emperors, and the Church of Rome, sought ways to deal with the increasing literacy rate that was now muddying the waters of secular, political and religious doctrinal beliefs. As a consequence, and which may be of great interest to many today is this. These royal elite’s then devised a culture of censorship which in effect guarded their agendas and was very similar to what our own mainstream media is presently doing today, whether it be in America or any other country in the modern world.

Historically, one example of the early examples of censorship occurred in the early period during the reign of the German Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) At that time, censorship was primarily driven by the Protestant Reformation which gave rise to a flood of pamphlets and contentious and argumentative texts which raised tensions among the population of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The primary aim of censorship which followed saw resolutions passed by various Imperial entities in order to suppress these publications.
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