The Life and Times of the Newspaper

NewspaperMany are already writing an obituary for the newspaper. Although some companies continue to circulate broadsheets, the changes in the times and the needs of the readers are inevitable. Still, the paper is an important part of history and the process of making it. The life and times of the broadsheet are just as colorful as the events it recorded. is part of the paper’s rich history. Take a look back on the years that shaped the newspaper into everything it is today, and will be in the future.

The Origins

As early as 59 BCE, ancient Rome already had the Acta Diurna, or Daily Events, which reported the pronouncements of autocratic rulers and events in the empire. The need to chronicle events and spread the word has always been present, but during this period, these gazettes focused on court affairs and were under the control of the authorities.

The bao, China’s answer to the Acta Diurna, circulated among educated civil servants. As such, it’s safe to say the newspaper has had its roots in journaling the rulers’ routine, far from what many consider as news today.

The ‘News’ in Newspaper

The gazettes began to cover a wider spectrum during the Industrial Revolution, when many wanted to shed light on the plight of child and women laborers. As the rising death toll became a glaring issue in and out of the local community, owners of early printing presses can’t help but put the depressing facts in the papers. They’re all the people could ever talk about.

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Advances in printing technology contributed to the circulation, making the period one of the most recorded events in history. The revolution defined what ‘news’ is, as its news in itself. Aside from being the headliner, it also opened doors for more kinds of content to make their way into the papers.

Opinion, Recreation, Ads, and the Newspaper You Know

As issues within small communities pique the interest of the public, many become keen to express their opinions. Although some early papers already have commentaries, more began to appear in print as the issues became headliners. And, during the wars, short stories and early advertisements also made their way to print media.

Those were the heydays of the newspaper, back when it was as simple as that: news and ideas on paper. Now, as you’re reading this on your phone, you’re holding on to what would be the next phase of the newspaper: paperless, if not obsolete.