History of Journalism

A Brief History of Journalism

The origins of journalism - an institution that has touched much of the globe, survived changing tastes and attitudes and even technology - can be traced back to the 1400s.
Here’s a quick look at some of its roots: 
  • 1400s: Handwritten articles were constructed and passed around in German and Italian cities by businessmen.
  • 1690: The first newspaper is published in the United States. Unfortunately, it only lasts for a single issue.
  •  1704: Daniel Defoe creates an account of The Great Storm of 1703. It is considered to be one of the first true examples of modern journalism.
  • 1709: The Tatler is created by Richard Steele, utilizing a mix of both gossip and news from coffeehouses all throughout London.
  • 1791: The First Amendment is established by Congress in America, granting freedom to the press.
  • 1800s: By the dawn of the 19th century, there are over fifty-two papers in London alone.
  • 1833: The first penny press paper is published in America.
  • 1844: A new telegraph line created in the U.S. allows for news to be delivered more rapidly.
  • 1860-1910: Journalism as a whole enjoys a vast array of technological advances and new approaches to writing.
  • 1920: Radio stations begin broadcasting in America. The technology quickly makes use of journalism.
  • 1940s: Television becomes operational. Journalism quickly embraces television as a medium of expression.
  • 1969: A communication system – known as the Internet - is created. It rapidly changes journalism in a variety of profound ways.
  • 1980: The first 24-hour news network appears. 
  • 1997: Internet blogging is invented.
The history of journalism tracks communication developments of news for a few and news for the many.

Read about The Great Storm of 1703 or the alphabet.

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