The History of Newspapers
Today, people can use newspapers to find out many things. One can use the newspaper to check sports scores, get the day's news, read "feel good" stories, or even find out their horoscope. It was not always that way. From the "Acta Diurna," reported in the ancient Roman empire, to the New York Times, newspapers have come a long way. In this report, the distance that newspapers have traveled since their inception is going to be outlined. Before literacy was commonplace in societies, town criers would announce the news of the land to the land's people. These criers used oratory skills to spread the news on crossroads and the marketplace. Messengers would be commissioned to report to the town after battles to report a victory or a defeat to the townspeople. As people became more civilized and language and literacy was developed, news that was delivered by spoken word was starting to be written down.
In 59 BC, Julius Caesar released the "Acta Diurana." This was a daily gazette which was printed and hung in the Roman Forum. This gazette would report news of Rome, such as military campaigns, executions, and trials. The Chinese also started government-produced news sheets called the taipo. While the "Acta" was the news for the entire populace of Rome, the taipo was only for the government officials until about 618 AD Those were the only noted types of printed news until 1456, when Gutenburg invented movable type.
Soon after the printing press was invented, there was a written account of a tournament in Rome in about 1470. There were letters written by Christopher Columbus which were circulating Barcelona before Columbus returned from Spain in 1493. For about one-hundred-thirty years, there were pamphlets, sheets of paper, and books being printed and circulated with news events. Although these were written accounts of news utilizing movable type, they were not considered newspapers....
Bibliography: Black, Jay; Bryant, Jennings; Thompson, Susan. Introduction to Media
The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. 1998. pp.113-147.
Stephens, Mitchell. "History of Newspapers". For Collier 's Encyclopedia.
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