What I found was the pre-history of my own profession, journalism, and the press.
In the late 18th century, and early 19th century, journalists were simply the owners of printing presses. They were little more than local bloggers, and their opinions were often for sale to the highest bidder. There was no one doing “objective” news. People understood broad events like the French Revolution, but what they thought of those events was driven by money, specifically that money put into driving opinion by printing press owners and by politicians controlling them.
Over the last 20 years, American journalism has moved strongly back toward that model. That gatekeeper function, the pride of The New York Times and even CNN in the 20th century, turns out to have been a mere product of successful business models, which aggregated an educated readership and then sold access to that market, for a premium price, to advertisers.
I asked, 20 years ago, how hungry publishers were. I encouraged them to take the opportunity the Internet offered to drive their readers further down the sales funnel, not just selling billboards along the roadside by engaging in real commerce.