The Victorian Press

DATED: 01.01.15

Here at The Jack the Ripper tour we love a bit of proper history, and none more so than Victorian history. During the late 19th and early 20th century, the Industrial Revolution saw a rise in printed media such as newspapers and journals. As education increased, and people became more interested in current affairs, both on home soil and abroad, the press was lapped up across the British Empire.

By the early 19th century, there were 52 London papers and more than 100 other titles. Since there was no television, there was not a 24/7 news channel that could be tuned into for updates on various topics of current affairs.

It wasn’t until the late 1920s and early 1930s that radios became a typical household item. Therefore, aside from talk on the street (that incidentally stemmed from those that could read) newspapers were the only means of information being transferred.

Jack the Ripper and his infamous murders were the basis for a lot of talk in Whitechapel and the surrounding boroughs. However, those that wanted further information would need to turn to the British Press. Visit our homepage and get yourself booked onto a Jack the Ripper walk today, to discover the gruesome history of Whitechapel!

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the lower classes, to which the majority of Whitechapel’s population belonged, could not read and write and would therefore gain insight via drawings and illustrations on the newspaper’s front page.

A lot of the news and the press that reached the masses in the Victorian age was a result of hearsay and gossip, and was not to be taken as gospel. Together with this fact, the authorities were reluctant to release too many facts regarding murders or other ‘tragedies’ such as disease as this could result in moral panic.

Moral panic is the intense feeling expressed by a population that feels a threat is present against the social order. The media, both in the modern sense and the past, are guilty of both encouraging and averting moral panic. This has been seen with the propaganda of the press when the country has been at war, and in relation to other impending disasters such as comets.

At the time, much of the news surrounding the Jack the Ripper case was taken from the police reports, as frequently, eyewitnesses would not initially speak out. The fear in and around the East End of London during this time was rife, and speaking to the press or other officials surrounding the case was thought to be dangerous.

Typically, those who knew the girls did not want to be associated with the crimes or the reporting of them as this may place their safety in jeopardy too. That said, we can confirm that regardless of any press releases, Jack the Ripper is indeed dead, so you are not at risk of him finding you.

With this in mind, why not pop down and get yourself booked onto The Jack the Ripper Tour so you can see where these horrendous murders took place and find out all the real grizzly details.


 7 Days a Week

AT 5:00PM & 7:30PM

Tour Duration

1 hr 45 mins


The Jack the Ripper Casebook