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This book charts the connections between the language of journalism in England and its social impact on audiences and social and political debates from the first emergence of periodical publications in the seventeeth century to the present day. It extends work done on the language of the media to include an historical perspective, adding to wider contemporary debates about the social impact of the media. It draws upon the field of historical pragmatics, while retaining a concentration on the development of a particular form of media language, the newspaper, and its role in refracting and contributing to social developments. Dialogue is created between sociolinguistics and journalism studies. It is ideally suited to advanced students in these areas and in linguistics and media studies in general.