A Step Forward in Communication…

September 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm 3 comments


Sam Operchuck, September 19th, 2013


The Newspaper had not truthfully existed until “fore-runners” to it began limited circulation in Germany. These consisted of small pamphlets with heavily “sensationalized” news. As for England, the first published title was “The Weekly Newes of 1622″ however the first true newspaper was “The London Gazette”  In 1666.


In the “New World”, the first attempt at a newspaper was made in Boston in 1690, under the name of “Publick Occurrences”. But because it was printed without authority to do so, it was immediately rejected, the author arrested, and all copies destroyed. “it remained forgotten until 1845 when the only known surviving example was discovered in the British Library.” The first newspaper approved by the government, and also the first successful one, was the “Boston News-Letter”, created by John Campbell in 1704. “By 1814 there were 346 newspapers” … in existance, one of which would play a key role in the shaping of news and press. That paper was the penny press; a paper that cost a penny. While most competing papers sold for around 6 cents, this opened up the world of news to the lower, less educated class of people who previously could not afford a “luxury” such as a newspaper. The first widely popular “penny paper” was the New York Sun, founded by Benjamin H. The paper’s motto was The object of this paper is to lay before the public, at a price within the means of every one, all the news of the day, and at the same time offer an advantageous medium for advertisements.” In this way, the paper also opened up a new route for marketing that was not available previously.

Because the main drive behind many newspapers was not publicity, but rather (as stated above) the push for freedom of the press, papers closer to the origin of the newspaper as we know it today were certainly more fact-focused and less opinionated.

However, some who dared to question the government (such as James Franklin) were dealt with severely: “When James Franklin published an editorial criticizing the government, he was sent to prison. James’ 13 year old brother and apprentice, Ben, took over the work of laying type, printing, and delivery of the issues. Six months later, James Franklin was forbidden to publish any more newspapers so the masthead now carried the name “Ben Franklin” as editor and publisher. ” 

Present-day news is spread almost instantaneously, with the help of the internet and mobile devices. Events happening live can be seen around the world and will already have been reported globally by the end of the day. While in many ways this enables people to do great good, it also opens the door for rumors to quickly build, and criticism to go almost untamed. Especially because people on the internet many times do not have to present themselves with names linking them to the real world, individuals express themselves much more flamboyantly and arguments erupt much faster. The Internet also leaves room for opinions to easily mix with facts, and for stories to build on legend. While in many ways the internet plays a key role in shaping how efficient our lives are today, sometimes it causes more harm then good. 



Citations ::

•Barber, Phil. http://www.historicpages.com/nprhist.htm

•Unknown, http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/spring04/vance/pennypress.html

•Unknown, http://library.thinkquest.org/18764/print/history.html


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Pilgrims Havard and Princeton

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. monguinhandel  |  September 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    It is amazing how Ben could do all the work in the print shop.

  • 2. ieramos  |  September 20, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Poor James Franklin he was thrown in jail for criticizing the government.

  • 3. vebramos  |  September 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Very interesting i did not know that about Ben before hand. really incredible to think that it could be done from just a print shop with probably one printing press.


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