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Organizations such as trade unions, religious groups, corporations or clubs may have their own newspapers, but the term is more commonly used to refer to daily or weekly publications that bring news of general interest to large portions of the public in a specific geographic area.
The United States had 1, general-circulation daily newspapers in -- 14 percent fewer than it had inbefore the arrival of television. The news in general-circulation newspapers is gathered and then written up by reporters. Photographers shoot pictures to accompany the stories and graphic artists contribute charts and diagrams.
Editors assign reporters to stories, check over those stories, write headlines for them, determine where they will be placed in the newspaper and work on the paper's "layout" -- the arrangement of stories, photographs and art on each page. An editor-in-chief or an executive editor usually supervises the paper's news staff.
The newspaper's publisher has overall control of its business and news operations. General-circulation newspapers play a role in commerce through the the advertisements they carry; they provide readers with information of practical value, such as television schedules, weather maps and listings of stock prices; and these newspapers provide a source of entertainment through their stories and through such features as comic strips and crossword puzzles.
However, one of the most important functions of the general-circulation newspaper -- a crucial function in a democracy -- is to provide citizens with information on government and politics. Leaving newspapers free to perform this function was considered important enough by the first Congress so that they specifically protected it in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified inwhich, among its other guarantors of free expression, prohibits Congress from passing any law "abridging the freedom Human beings exchanged news long before they could write.
They spread news by word of mouth on crossroads, at campfires or at markets. Messengers raced back from battlefields with reports on victories or defeats. Criers walked through villages announcing births, deaths, marriages and divorces.
Stories of unlikely occurrences spread, in the words of one anthropological report, "like wildfire" through preliterate societies. These early efforts to exchange news are discussed in the book "A History of News" by Mitchell Stephens.
With the arrival of writing and literacy news reports gained added reliability and, in advanced societies like that of Rome and China, became more formal. Rome had a particularly sophisticated system for circulating written news, centered on the acta -- daily handwritten news sheets, which were posted by the government in the Roman Forum from the year 59 B.
China, too, had early government-produced news sheets, called the tipao, which were first circulated among officials during the Han dynasty B. The printing press was used to disseminate news in Europe shortly after Johann Gutenberg invented the letter press, employing movable type, in the s.
One of the first printed works that might qualify as news was an Italian account of a tournament printed in about A letter written by Christopher Columbus, reporting on his discoveries, was set in type and circulating in Barcelona before Columbus arrived there in April of In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of printed newsbooks, short pamphlets reporting on a news event, and news ballads, accounts of news events written in verse and usually printed on one side of a single sheet of paper, circulated in Europe and, to a lesser extent, in the new European colonies in America.
The first news report printed in the Americas described an earthquake in Guatemala and was printed in Mexico in Although they touched upon a wide variety of news, these newsbooks and news ballads did not qualify as newspapers because they each appeared only once, to report on only one story, and they each had no identity separate from the particular news story they told.
The modern newspaper is a European invention. It owes little or nothing to the Roman acta No copies of which survivedor to the early experiments in news dissemination developments in China. Modern newspapers were introduced to China in the nineteenth century primarily by missionaries and other foreigners.
The oldest direct ancestors of the modern newspaper appear to have been the handwritten news sheets that circulated widely in Venice in the sixteenth century.
Venice, like most of the cities that played a major role in the early history of the newspaper, was a center for trade and therefore for information. These Venetian news sheets, known as avisi or gazette, were filled with information on wars and politics in Italy and Europe.
They were distributed weekly as early as and were seen as far away as London. The style of journalism they employed -- short sets of news items, forwarded from a particular city, written under the name of that city and the date on which they were sent -- was the style that would be used in most early printed newspapers.
The oldest surviving European printed newspapers were both published weekly in German in -- one in Strasbourg, Relations: To evade government prosecution, these papers did not name the city in which they were printed.
The printed newspaper spread rapidly through Europe. Printed weeklies appeared in Basel byin Frankfort and Vienna byin Hamburg byin Berlin by and in Amsterdam by An English official at the time complained that his country was being "reproved in foreign parts" because it lacked a publication to report "the occurents every week.
France produced a newspaper of its own in But printers in Amsterdam, a center of trade and of political and religious tolerance in the early seventeenth century, were exporting weeklies in French and in English as early as Italy's first printed weekly appeared by at the latest, Spain's by The oldest surviving newspaper written in English appears to have been published in Amsterdam in by Pieter van de Keere, a Dutch map and print engraver who had lived in London for a few years.
This first English newspaper begins not with a title -- in those early years papers often did not have consistent names -- but with an apology:All books are in good condition or better and are hardback unless indicated.
Book descriptions are as follows: fine (showing little use), very good +, very good (shows some use), good + or good (typical used book). The war has also forced more than 3 million people to flee from their homes, with 2 million still displaced.
Yemen: Finding near-famine - and lots of food Yemen's civilians pay price of blockade. Latest news, business, sport, comment, lifestyle and culture from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from Telegraph TV.
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