I'd like to introduce Professor Gordon Winder, from LMU Munich. He's an economic geographer. So Gordon, why is an economic geographer interested in old newspapers? >> Well, economic geographers come in a wide spectrum. But a number of us are interested in globalization and networks, since economies often function on the basis of network connections, rather than proximity. So, I'm interested in old newspapers because they give me a nice set of texts on the history of connectivity and the history of networking. So you're already using terms such as "networking" and "connectivity". How do these terms, which of course are very much part of our contemporary vocabulary when we talk about globalization, how do these terms also apply, say in the late 19th century? Well, there are all kind of contemporary versions of this. You know, inner circles and networks are part and parcel of the way in which we thought about business operations in small cities or colonial enterprises. Everybody knew everybody else in the local area. What they didn't know necessarily what was going on in the other center, which was important news for them. So, being able to have a local advantage in business often meant that you needed best information from overseas. So, I think that these are intimately connected. >> So, what are the technological advancements that happened to enable this almost instantaneous spread of information? >> Well, I'm not such that it's actually instantaneous. It's a network of technologies, that has a geography of it's own. So that there are fast connections and links, and there're also slow networks and links. So what, the key technology to begin with is shipping, and as that speeds up, so the travel times to get news from particular places to other places is reduced but this is also done unevenly. There are races to go and get your dinghy out to the ship in the west coast of Ireland so that you can get the news on to the telegraph line first and then you get it to London much much quicker than somebody who's waiting for the ship to dock in south Hampton. All right. So the shipping produces a geography of news and the cable and telegraph produces another geography of news. This is all infrastructure-dependent. So even if you aren't going to be able after 1850s, beginning 1860s to send telegrams through cables over sea, then you're still dependent upon where are the cables and which nodes do they connect. This means that the central point that has the most cable connections is going to be a hot spot for getting news. But any place that is not connected to the telegraph line is not on the wire. This produces a geography of news. It means that you have places that are underrepresented in the news. Or where the news arrives so late that it's almost meaningless. >> So we have these agencies distributing news, obviously they decide what is news and what is not news. So for our interest here, which of course is theater and globalization, from your experience and research was theater news? I mean, say compared on earthquakes or war? >> Most definitely, but news is usually decided by the newspaper editor, who will have particularly strange ideas about what is news today, so yes it is, but particular kinds of news have gone to appeal inside this telegraph network, stars are invented in a sense. Partly through their mediation, through newspapers, and therefore an exotic international star is a nice challenge for your theater critic who is going to be able to now say, well, how does my theater in my community compare with the one from overseas? So the visiting stars and the publicity that goes around them is going to travel on these networks. And it will be reported back in the place where the star came from, or the circus troupe, or the other theater activities. However, that's only a portion of the theater spectrum. Local theater is also going to appear in a newspaper, but it's mostly going to be reported locally, rather than with this international connection. So what you're also finding with this hyper-speed telegraphic network connection, is that you can create both a slow world, and the local world, and at the same time connect it sometimes into this special international network. >> I also get the impression that between these two worlds, the local world and the, say, cosmopolitan world, London, Paris or whatever, there's another world which is a regional world. It seems to me that some news travels from country to country but may not actually get outside that region. >> RIght. The other way in which you move news around is you find copies of somebody else's newspaper. And the ships are really good for transporting this, or the railway line. So, in a colonial setting like Southeast Asia or in Australasia. What you would find is that the news companies are at the dock when the ship arrives. Because on board the ship there will be letters, post and newspapers. And they want to be the first one to get hold of it. They can find anything that's useful to put in the press. In fact, the arrival of the ship is still a major news item right the way through into the 20th century. Because here's your connectivity to the rest of the world. >> This all sounds very much like the way news circulates today. You have the speed, the different constituencies and so on. So what would you say are the significant differences, or perhaps even parallels between the news world of the late 19th century and the news world we experience today. Well there's an enormous literature in communication studies and media studies which suggest that in fact there's not really that much difference. The speed which news can travel has dramatically increased but the most dramatic phase of its acceleration was during the 19th century. So we've been able to clip a few more hours or days off in some cases off the travel times for news. But in the 19th century we were shifting from three, four, five, six, weeks down to a daily coverage of news in another stock exchange somewhere else in the world. So, we are slowing down, if you like, the rate of speed up.