The history of newspapers

Before the advent of the newspaper, there were two major kinds of periodical news publications: the handwritten news sheet, and single item news publications. These existed simultaneously. The Roman Empire published Actas around 59 BC. Early publications played into the development of what would today be recognized as the newspaper, which came about around 1600. This was a time in which, in order to be successful, publishers had to be up to date on news. Around the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in England and France, long news accounts called “relations” were published.

The term newspaper became common in the seventeenth century, however in Germany, publications that we would today consider to be newspaper publications, were appearing as early as the sixteenth century. They were discernibly newspapers for the following reasons: they were printed, dated, appeared at regular and frequent publication intervals, and included a variety of news items .  The first newspaper however was said to be the Strasbourg Relation, in the early seventeenth century.

The first US newspaper was entitled Public Occurrences, and came out in 1690. However, it only printed one issue, as it was shut down by colonial officials, possibly due to censorship and control issues. It followed the two column format, and was a single sheet, printed on both sides. The first regularly published newspaper was the The Boston News-Letter, a weekly which debuted in 1704.

The first major newspaper in India—The Bengal Gazette—was started in 1780 under the British Raj. Other newspapers such as The India Gazette, The Calcutta Gazette, The Madras Courier (1785), The Bombay Herald (1789) etc. soon followed.

2 Responses to “The history of newspapers”

  1. 1 AKshay
    August 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    real good stuff……keep it up guys

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