Fake news was creating headlines hundreds of years ago

Inking up the printing press at the event in Huntingdon on Saturday.

Inking up the printing press at the event in Huntingdon on Saturday. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Fake News may seem a modern phenomenon - but dodgy stories were already hitting the headlines centuries ago during the English Civil War.

Visitors to Huntingdon town hall on Saturday were able to see how news was created in the past when one of the building’s historic court rooms was turned into a recreation of a 17th Century printer’s workshop.

Stuart Orme, curator of the Cromwell Museum which put on the event, said the phenomenon of made up news was really nothing new and that the Civil War was the first conflict in the English language where fake news became an issue.

He said this followed an “explosion” of printed material after the birth of the popular press and led to the use of propaganda to promote a cause.

Members of the Times Past living history event used the replica press to show how news leaflets from the period were produced.


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