Some historian trace the history of newspapers back to the Romans “ Acta Diurna” and the “ti pao” of china. The “Acta Diurnal”, a daily , handwritten gazette launched by Julius Caesar in 59 B.C.. reported noteworthy events, private and official notices and births among other things. It continued for about 350 years. China’s early version of the newspaper, the “ti-pao”, provided news to government officials and the intellectual elite for about a thousand years. The forerunners to the modern American newspaper first appeared in Europe about 150 years after Gutenberg invented type. At first, English printers distributed tracts, or pamphlets, containing topical news. The printing of corantos, single-sheet tracts dealing with current foreing affairs, was common by 1621. Twenty years later, printer issued diurnals, four-page bulletin of local news. The forst regularly published english newspaper,“The Gazette”, appeared in Oxford in 1665 and moved to London the following year. The daily courant became the first daily newspaper in England in 1702. Until 1695, a licensing law required printers in England and its colonies overseas to obtain printing licenses from officials and printed documents were subject to government censorship. The writings of two Englishmen proved influential in advancing the notion of freedom of expression in England and America. – poet John Milton and philosopher John Locke. In 1644, Milton argued against restrictions on printing in his treatise Areopagitica. Locke’s writings on the individual freedoms and rights inspired the English during the enlightenment and influenced Thomas Jeeferson and other founding fathers a century later in America.
NEWSPAPERS IN COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA, 1690-1783
Boston bookseller Benjamin harris tried to publish the first newspaper in colonial America in 1690. Colonial authorities banned his “ publick occurrences , both foreign and domestic” after its premiere issue, due to...
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