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The History of Newspapers

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Introduction:

Any kinds of news about something new or current affairs which appears frequently and is a type of publication can be considered as a Newspaper. According to American author Mark Twain “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” Newspaper consists of many different contents such as news, articles, features, advertisement and many more which is printed in relatively cheap newsprint. Newspaper publishes news daily or weekly of general interest to large portions of public in a specific geographic area. According to American Novelist Norman Mailer "Once a newspaper touches a story the facts are lost forever, even the protagonists."

A newspaper contains news and articles that touches personalities, business and finance, crime, severe weather, natural disasters, health and medicine, science and technology, sports, entertainment, fashion and arts divided and published in different sections closely related to proximity factor or general interest of the people. Even though the Newspaper is based on facts and news, personal opinions are adjusted through editorials and op-eds.

The newspaper includes photographs shot by the photographers along with stories and articles along with graphic artists, data, chats and diagrams. All the reports or stories have headlines and photographs with caption is edited to be fixed somewhere in the paper's layout after being checked by the editors usually supervised by an editor-in-chief or an executive editor. The newspaper business is kept alive by general circulation or through advertisement they carry. It is important for newspaper to provide citizens with information on government and politics.

History of Newspaper in European context:

The history of newspaper in Europe can be traced back to 59 B.C. to A.D. 222 in Rome when writing and reading gained reliability. The Roman Empire published Acta Diurna (Daily Acts), a daily handwritten news sheets which were carved in mental or stone and posted by the government in Roman forum. The acta contained news of Political happenings, trials, scandals, military campaigns and executions. These were printed with the order of Julius Caesar, a Roman general and author of Latin writing style.

The printing press came into light to propagate news in Europe soon after the invention of letter press by Johann Gutenberg in the 1450's which was the initiation of movable type of printing press. In 1470, one of the first printed works which can be considered as news was an Italian account of a tournament. Christopher Columbus had written a letter reporting his discoveries which was set in type and was circulated all over Barcelona before he got there in 1493. There were thousands of printed newsbooks, short pamphlets reporting on a news event, and news ballads, details of current events written in verse and generally printed on one side of a single sheet of paper which were circulated all over Europe and its colonies specially America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The newsbooks and news ballads was eligible enough to be called a newspaper since they appeared only once, to report only one story and had no identity separate from the scrupulous news report they told.

There is no doubt that the concept of modern newspaper was invented in Europe. The oldest form of modern newspaper is said to be first published as a handwritten news sheets that circulated extensively in Venice, Italy in the sixteenth century. Notizie scritte ("written notices") were published by the government of Venice in 1556 which led to the trademark of modern newspaper. Venice was the center of trade in Europe therefore hub for information. The Venetian news sheets also known as avisi or gazettes which was handwritten had information and news regarding politics, wars and economy of Italy and Europe during early modern era (1500 – 1800). The newspaper traveled all along Europe till London and was distributed weekly during 1566 A.D. They techniques and style they applied for this paper were short sets of news items, advanced from a particular city, printed under the name of that city along with the date on which they were sent. These techniques would be used in most early printed newspapers and this idea of handwritten newsbooks travelled all the way to Germany and Holland.

According to World association of newspapers, the oldest surviving European printed newspaper were published weekly in German language in Germany, the first being Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdign Historien printed in 1605 A.D. in Strasbourg by Johann Carlous followed Avisa Relation oder Zeitun printed by Lucas Schlute in 1609 in Wolfenbüttel. The names of the cities were not included in the papers in order to evade government prosecutions.

It did not take much time for the printed newspaper to spread through Europe rapidly starting from printed weeklies which appeared in Basel in 1610, followed by Frankfort and Vienna in 1615 and finally in Berlin by 1617. All the weeklies were in German language and no specific names have been discovered. In 1618 the first Dutch newspaper weekly was introduced in Amsterdam called Courante uyt Italien, Buytslandt, &c. which can be considered as the first broadsheet paper because it was issued in folio – size rather than previously printed pamphlets in quarto – size.

The very first newspaper printed in England came in 1621 when an English official complained about the lack of means of communication in England. The French started printing newspaper of its own in May 30, 1631 called La Gazette in Paris. The Italians introduced their first printed weekly in 1639 followed by Spanish Catalan language newspaper Gazeta in 1641.

The first English Language newspaper was printed in Amsterdam by Joris Veseler for the publisher Pieter van den Keere in 1620. The first English newspaper does not begin with a title because in those early days papers often did not have consistent names. The first English newspaper is well illustrated by the following item: "Out of Ceulen (cologne), the 24 of November. Letters of Neurenburge of the 20 of this present, make mention, that they had advise from the Borders of Bohemis, that there had been a very great Battle by Prague." The news was translated in English, printed and shipped to London.

Many early newspapers did not have many stories to be printed and struggled to find new news to fill their paper every week, especially in England, the news were published late. The reader's "expectation of weekly newes" was not fulfilled during those time. This led to more working hours to gather news to fill the weekly news and this pace of gathering news lead to adapt itself to the schedule of daily newspapers later on.

The first actually printed newspaper in England was "Corante, or weekely newes from Italy, Gerany, Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, France and the low Countreys" in September 24, 1621. The publisher known by only initials N.B. whose credits are given either to Nathaniel Butter and Nicholas Bourne which were both England's first newspaper journalist. The second newspaper in France Gazette de France was also published in 1631 by Theophraste Renaudot which survived till the French Revolution in 1789.

There were basically two formats in which the newspaper were published in early days; one was the Dutch paper style known as "corantos," in which the reports were packed densely in only two or four pages and the other style was the German weeklies, generally a pamphlets with eight to twenty four pages. The Dutch style of paper eventually turned into German style in 1622.

The news were printed directly in print shop as soon as it was received, such as the thirty years war raging on the continent at that time appeared under the name of Vienna, Frankfort or Prague or any other cities where a letter or newspaper found its way to a printing shop. The same news printed in some date in a certain city was printed in different date in some other city. In London the process of editing story to make it easier for the reader started by editor Thomas Gainsford, who started working in series of early English newspaper in 1622.

The Oxford Gazette which was established in 7 November 1665 and that contained official journals of record of the British government is the oldest surviving English newspaper in the world today. The Daily Courant was the first daily newspaper in the England and the world. It was first published in 11 March 1702 and was produced by Elizabeth Mallet and contained a single page with advertisements on the reverser side.

Year

Newspaper

Language

City

Country

Reference

1605

Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdign Historien

German

Strasbourg

Holy Roman Empire

First newspaper of the world

1609

Avisa Relation oder Zeitung

German

Wolfenbüttel

Holy Roman Empire

 

1610

 

German

Basel

Swiss Confederacy

 

1615

-

German

Frankfurt

Holy Roman Empire

 

1617

 

German

Berlin

Holy Roman Empire

 

1618

Courante uyt Italien Duytslandt, &c.

Dutch

Amsterdam

Dutch Republic

It is the world's first broadsheet. out of use in 1664

1620

Nieuwe Tijdinghen

Dutch

Antwerp

Spanish Netherlands

Published in 1605 – 1629

1631

La Gazette

French

Paris

France

First newspaper in French language and first weekly magazine established between May 30, 1631 – September 30, 1915

1641

Gazeta

Catalan

Barcelona

Spain

The first Catalan Language newspaper. Only two issues were published

1645

Ordinari Post Tijdender

Swedish

Stockholm

Sweden

Oldest and still published newspaper in the world. Went online in 2007

1656

Weeckelycke Courante van Europa

Dutch

Haarlem

Dutch Republic

In 1664 the name was changed to Oprechte haerlemsche Courant. The newspaper merged with the Haarlems Dagblad in 1942 and still exists.

1661

La Gazeta

Spanish

Madrid

Kingdom of Spain

Existed till 2008 as "Boletin official del Estado" and went completely online from 2009.

1661

Merkuriusz Polski Ordynaryjny

Polish

Krakow

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Lasted till 22 July 1661 in Warsaw.

1664

Gazzetta di Mantova

Italian

Mantua

Duchy of Mantua, Holy Roman Empire

Still the oldest privet and continuously published print in the world.

1665

Oxford Gazette

English

Oxford

England

It was renamed as London Gazette and moved to London in 1666.

1702

Daily Courant

English

London

England

It was the world's first daily Newspaper. Merged with the Daily Gazetteer in 1735.

1702

Vedomosti

Russian

Moscow

Russia

Renamed as Sankt – Petersburgskie in 1728, and again renamed as Petrogradskie Vedomosti in 1914. Last issue in 1917.

1703

Wiener Zeitung

German

Vienna

Austria

Still in publication.

1704

The Review

English

London

England

Founded by Daniel Defoe as a Review of the Affairs of France until 1713.

1705

Hildesheimer Relations – Courier

German

Hildesheim

Germany

Still in publication with name Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung.

1705

Mercurius Hungaricus

Hungarian

Hungary

Hungary

Was printed in Latin and lasted till 1710.

1709

The Tatler

English

London

Kingdom of Great Britain

Founder was Richarded Steele and existed till 1711.

1709

The Worcester Post – Man

English

Worcester

Kingdom of Great Britain

Renamed as Berrow's Worcester journal since 1753. Last publication was in 1690.

1710

The Examiner

English

London

Kingdom of Great Britain

Jonathan swift had the most contribution and lasted till 1714.

1711

The Spectator

English

London

Kingdom of Great Britain

Founded by Joseph Addison and lasted till 1712.

1719

The Daily Post

English

London

Kingdom of Great Britain

Established in 1719 by Daniel Defoe. It contained news about current events, science, art and all important dates.

1719

Pražské poštovské noviny

Czech

Prague

Kingdom of Bohemia

It was a weekly newspaper which is no more.

1731

Gentleman's Magazine

English

London

England

Lasted till 1922 and was first to use the term magazine.

1734

Lloyd's List

English

London

England

It still publishes news about shipping, marine insurance and is the oldest English – language daily to be published till date.

1735

Gazzetta di Parma

Italian

Parma

Duchy of Parma

Still available.

1737

The Belfast News Letter

English

Belfast

Kingdom of Ireland

Still available.

1738

Feuille d'Avis de Neuchâtel

French

Neuchatel

Swiss Confederacy

The oldest French – Language daily newspaper which is still published.

1747

The Press and Journal

English

Aberdeen

United Kingdom

Still available.

1749

Berlingske

Danish

Copenhagen

Denmark – Norway

Originally known as Kjøbenhavnske Danske Post-Tidender. Still available.

1752

Leeuwarder Courant

Dutch

Leeuwarden

The Netherlands

Originally known as Leeuwarder Saturdagse Courant. Still available.

1758

Norrköpings Tidningar

Swedish

Norrköping

Sweden

Originally published weekly asNorrköpings Weko-Tidningar. Still available.

1761

Nassau – Saarbrückisches Wochenblatt

German

Saarbrücken

Nassausaarbrucken

Still available as Sarbrüker Zeitung.

1767

Adresseavisen

Norwegian

Trondheim

Denmark – Norway

Originally namedKongelig allene privilegerede Trondheims Adresse-Contoirs Efterretninger. Still available

1767

Finns Leinster Journal

English

Kilkenny

Kingdom of Ireland

 

1772

Fyens Stiftstidende

Danish

Odense

Denmark – Norway

Originally namedKongelig Privilegerede Odense Adresse-Contoirs Efterretninger. Still available.

1783

The Herald

English

Glasgow

United Kingdom

Still available.

1785

The Times

English

London

United Kingdom

Still available.

1791

The observer

English

London

United Kingdom

First Sunday newspaper of the world. Still available.

1794

Arhus Stiftstidende

Danish

Denmark – Norway

Arhus

Originally named Aarhus Stifts-Tidende.still available

1817

The Scotsman

English

Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Still available

1821

The Guardian

English

Manchester

United Kingdom

Originally named "The Manchester Guardian". Still available.

1824

Abo Underrättelser

Swedish

Abo

Finland

Still available.

1826

Le Figaro

French

Paris

France

Still available.

1829

Curierul Românesc

Romanian

Bucharest

Romania

Lasted from 1829 to 1859.

1829

Albina Românească

Romanian

Lasi

Romania

Lasted from 1829 to 1850.

1831

Takvim-I vekayi

Turkish

Istanbul

Ottoman Empire

Published till 1891.

1835

O Açoriano Oriental

Portuguese

Ponta Delgada Azores

Portugal

Still available.

1843

News of the World

English

London

United Kingdom

Closed in 7 July 2011, after the phone hacking scandal.

1844

Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant

Dutch

Rotterdam

The Netherlands

Merged with Algemeen Handelsblad in 1970 and still available.

1846

L'Indépendant

French

Perpignan

France

Still available.

1853

Faro de Vigo

Spanish

Vigo

Spain

Oldest and still available newspaper published in spain.

1854

Surrey Comet

English

London

United Kingdom

Still available.

1855

The Daily Telegraph

English

London

United Kindom

Still available.

1855

A Aurora do Lima

Portuguese

Viana do Castelo

Portugal

Still available.

1859

Le Progrès

French

Lyon

France

Still available.

1859

La Nazione

Italian

Florence

Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Still available.

1861

L'Osservatore Romano

Italian

Vatican City

Papal States

Semi official newspaper of the Holy See.

1863

Church Times

English

London

England

Weekly newspaper which is still available.

1870

La Dépêche du Midi

French

Tlulouse

France

Still available.

1873

Richmond and Twickenham Times

English

London

England

Weekly London newspaper which is still available.

1877

Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace

French

Strasbourg

France

Still available.

1881

The Evening News

English

London

England

Closed in 1987.

1882

El Pireneo Aragonés

Spanish

Jaca

Spain

Still published in the Autonomous community of Aragon.

1888

Financial Times

English

London

United Kingdom

Still available.

1889

L'Est Républicain

French

Nancy

France

Still available.

1891

Gazet van Antwerpen

Dutch

Antwerp

Flanders, Belgium

Still available.

1891

La Nuova Sardegna

Italian

Sassari

Kindom of Italy

Still available.

1893

Lidové Noviny

Czech

Brno

Moravia, Austria – Hungary

Still published in Prague and known as Lidovky.

1893

De Telegraaf

Dutch

Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Still available and is the largest Newspaper in Holland.

1895

Heraldo de Aragón

Spanish

Zaragoza

Spain

Still available and known as Heraldo.

1896

Daily Mail

English

London

England

Was a major trendsetter for English newspaper market by starting the trend for popular mass journalism and is still published.

Table 1: List of oldest newspapers in Europe according to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

The freedom of the press was very much suppressed during those times and controlled by the authorities therefore very less news about the country was being printed at those times. The newspapers were not allowed to discuss any local or national issues or events. The first breakthrough in news writing came during the English Civil War after the parliament under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell struggled with King Charles I, and journalist felt free to discuss about it. The first English newspaper to talk about national issue was the sedate little weekly entitles which talked about the proceedings in the parliament in 1641.

The struggle of freedom of press was initiated by John Milton in His Areopagitica in England 1644. They were free from government control and experienced free press. According to the historian Joseph Frank, newspapers in England were the first to use Headlines, print advertisement, employ women, newsboy to sell newspapers and proper journalist in the world in 1640s. Newspaper started reporting newsworthy national stories by 1649 with a story: "This day the King was beheaded, over against the Banquetting house by White – Hall…."

Cormwell gained more power after the beheading of Charles I and cracked down the press allowing only few newspapers to be printed. However the Glorious Revolution in 1688 again free the press freedom and the Licensing Act lapsed in 1695 allowing press to criticize the government and write what they pleased.

Newspapers started taking new turns by becoming more commercial with more advertisement along with printing price listings and market reports. In 1650 the world's oldest surviving printed daily newspaper Einkommende Zeitung was established in Leipzig in 1650. Daily Courant became the first daily newspaper in the world which appeared in London in 1702. In the early eighteenth century, according to journalism historian Stanley Morison, the newspaper gained "a hold on London's commercial classes which it never lost." At that time, too, great essayists like Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift began publishing newspapers filled with their social and political commentaries in London.

Breakthrough in English newspaper came when journalist were allowed so sit in the gallery in parliament, however they could not take any notes. In 1783 journalist were allowed to take notes after William Woodfall, editor of morning Chronicles send his reports to write the parliament proceedings. Similarly reports about the French Revolution were heavily written all over Europe which led to many other revolutions notably the American Revolution in late 1700s.

The early 19th century there was many newspapers being published in Europe specially after the Industrial Revolution. Advances in printing technology related to the Industrial Revolution enabled newspapers to Become and even more widely circulated means of communication. By 1814, the Times (London) acquired a printing press capable of making 1,100 impressions per minute.

Conclusion

In this way the development of newspapers in Europe has impacted the way of newspaper writing and printing all over the world. The rich history of newspaper in Europe and its domination around the world at that period has left a lot of impact and impression on other newspaper around the world. According to WAN-IFRA Currently there are more than 15 thousand newspaper titles in the world. Newspaper is a part of everyday life and is the best and quickest medium to gain information in the world today.


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