Caricature of the Public’s Alleged “Newspaper Addiction” (c. 1840)
Supporters of public enlightenment worked to disseminate educational pamphlets, sermons, and calendars. Although their efforts only reached the upper stratum of village society, they sparked fears among some that the uncontrolled spread of knowledge would lead to upheavals similar to those around 1800. Caricatures accused the “people” of devouring newspapers without rhyme or reason, while overlooking problems in their own households.
Source: Zeitungswuth [Newspaper Addiction], copperplate engraving by Joseph Stöber (c. 1840). Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum/Stiftung Saarländischer Kulturbesitz. Reproduction courtesy of Peter Kühne, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum and Christian Göbel, Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum; reprinted in Klaus Beyrer und Martin Dallmeier, Als die Post noch Zeitung machte. Eine Pressegeschichte. Frankfurt am Main, 1994, p. 131.
Sammlung Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum/Stiftung Saarländischer Kulturbesitz