In 1722 Silence Dogwood wrote her first letter to The New-England Courant a Boston newspaper. Silence Dogwood was a pseudonym used by the 16 year old Benjamin Franklin. Evidently his older brother, the owner and publisher of the Courant would not print his pieces so Benjamin wrote under the persona of a middle-aged woman.
It may not be possible in the first Place to inform your Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to present them, by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I presume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.
And since it is observed, that the Generality of People, nowadays, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise what they read, until they are in some measure informed who or what the Author of it is, whether he be poor or rich, old or young, a Schollar or a Leather Apron Man, &c. and give their Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge which they have of the Author’s Circumstances, it may not be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.
Much of public comment today is based upon a partial reading of material and is made based upon personal bias and not upon the merit or lack of merit of the piece.
We deserve better