A Summary of the British Press

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Originally newspapers or newsletters were simply records of events and opinions. The earliest known printed newspaper in Britain was published in 1513 and was called TreweEncountre. In the 16th century the form of the newspapers changed. Papers grew from newssheets for a small number of educated people into a medium of information and entertainment for the whole population. The power of the press was feared and censors stopped any article they saw as being against the state. In 1814 The Times used a new kind of printing machine – The Koenig Press which made it possible to produce 1000 copies an hour instead of 20. National distribution was made possible with the development of the railway system. The stronger and wealthier papers such as The Times and the Daily Telegraph became first true national daily papers in Britain. More daily newspapers, national and regional, are sold for every person in Britain than in most other developed countries. Britain’s press is unusual it is divided into two very different types of newspapers: the quality press (broadsheets) and the popular press (tabloids). There is no state control or censorship of the press, but it is subject to the general laws of publication. The press caters for a variety of political views, interests and levels of education. Newspapers are almost always financially independent of any political party. Where they express pronounced views and show obvious political leanings in their editorial comments. Newsprint, about three-quarters of which is imported, forms about a quarter of average national newspaper costs. In addition to sales, many newspapers and periodicals derive considerable earnings from their advertising. Ownership of the national, London and regional newspapers is concentrated in the hands of a number of large press publishing groups. Most people usually read the Leader (or editorial); it helps them form opinions on things. Although national newspapers give you all the important news, if...
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