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Arts and Crafts

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Newspaper Art Part 2

The origin of the newspaper dates way back to handwritten news sheets and 'single item news publications' as they were called.

Those were mainly announcements made by the government, carved in either stone or metal, and posted in public places, like Julius Caesar used to do already in 59 BC.

Handwritten newsletters, news accounts, and other publications concerning politics, military and economic news were published in the following centuries, but since they reached only a very select audience and were often read out loud they were not considered newspapers according to our standards.

It is said that the first printed, dated, regularly and frequently appearing publications with a variety of topics, appeared in Germany in the 16th century and that the first newspaper stemmed from here as well, starting in 1609; It was organized by location, by date, had a specific and eye-catching, illustrated title page and each topic was dated.

The word 'newspaper' also comes from this period and the invention of the printing press in the 17th century greatly influenced spreading and relating news. Other countries quickly followed with their own newspaper, like The Netherlands in 1618, France in 1631 and Portugal in 1661, to name a few.

The very first newspaper published in the U.S. dates from 1690 and came from Boston. After just one issue, the officials suppressed further publications until 1704, when the governor gave the green light to the weekly Boston News-Letter and other cities published their own newspaper soon after.

Due to the Industrial Revolution, this media could be printed faster, in bulk, and became even cheaper by printing both sided of the paper. Hence, it became available to the vast majority of the public and resulted in the first penny press newspaper in 1830.

Nowadays, almost every town no matter how small has its own newspaper. How long those will still be able to stand up to the competitor they face in the Internet is anyone's guess, but the loss of the newspaper would mean loosing part of history!

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