Shapin has shown that in the world of science the advance of knowledge depended on a calculated and courteous imprecision, where the preservation of the honour of disagreeing scientists occasionally of necessity took precedence over the rigorous discourtesy of precisely established truth.1 e world of commercial news, in contrast, faced a situation where the sociable community excluded it from credibility. In news, courtesy and the new form of news were in direct con ict. Sociable military news had been born with the assumption that honour and credibility were tied – that an honour-based system of credibility was both the ideal and possible. Defamiliarized and commercial military news had adopted a standard which based credibility upon the intensive reading of the texts of news, but, in the last analysis, these texts attempted to ape the traditional guarantees of honour, and so still acknowledged honour as the ultimate guarantor of credibility. Now, in a second stage of transformation, the news would cut its ties to the traditional standards of credibility. Defamiliarized, commercial, printed military news could never compete on equal terms with its rivals if it accepted the postulates of honour; it could only weakly, and ultimately ine ectively, imitate them. e new form of news therefore had to undertake a radical assault on the assumptions of honour and sociability, separating them from credibility, so as to compete – even to triumph – over their predecessors. e establishment of a new standard of credibility was necessary to make possible the assertion that any anonymous, vulgar newswriter was as capable of telling the truth as the noblest lord of England. e adoption of this new credibility standard by English newswriters and English newsreaders – the examination and comparison of multiple, presumptively dishonourable texts according to the standard of extensive credibility – begun in the late sixteenth century, accelerated enormously with the introduction of corantos in the late 1610s and early 1620s, and was remarkably complete by 1637. e adoption of intensive credibility had shi ed the locus of credibility from the person of the newswriter to the singular anonymous text; the adoption of extensive credibility completed the two-step transformation, by creating a system of credibility suited to a world awash in anonymous texts.