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Alison K. Smith

Published On


Page Range

pp. 185-212

Print Length

27 pages

6. Information and Efficiency: Russian Newspapers, ca.1700–1850

  • Alison K. Smith (author)
Smith surveys the origins and development of newspapers in Russia, no longer as imported intelligence documents but as devices for the dissemination of news. The particular ‘case study’, however, looks also at the reverse: at the use of newspapers as a medium for soliciting and gathering information. Initially established to transmit information relating specifically to military affairs, the newspaper was first published in 1702 in Muscovy. By the 1840s, the number and scope had been expanded significantly, and by the early nineteenth century, these newspapers became a kind of information technology. That is, one of ‘those mechanisms that are used to organise, present, store, and retrieve information’. This could be information about international relations, about domestic reform, about crop and weather conditions, about prices and financial affairs, or about social control.


Alison K. Smith