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The evolution of a discipline
Mark O’Brien

By the mid-1700s the increased circulation of newspapers, coupled with political strife among Dublin politicians, resulted in journalism becoming sensitised to the demand for political commentary. In 1742 Charles Lucas began a campaign for municipal reform and published a series of pamphlets that exposed the internal machinations of Dublin Corporation. Summoned before the House in October 1749, Lucas was sentenced to imprisonment as an enemy of the state. Although he fled the country the episode left an indelible mark on Irish journalism. In 1807 the Evening Post asked why, since the express delivery from London was paid for out of the public purse, the Correspondent, a Castle newspaper, was the sole beneficiary. Throughout the 1830s Irish journalism continued to flex its autonomy. In May 1838 the country's first representative body for journalists was established.

in Irish journalism before independence