All the great cities in the world now have newspapers. But newspapers, as we know them today, are not that old. The very first newspapers began long after the invention of printing. They started in Europe in the 1600s, and were usually only a couple of pages long. For a long time, newspapers were not very common. Governments didn’t want public discussion of their policies and decisions. Often they closed down papers, or taxed them heavily. The “Stamp Tax” on newspapers and pamphlets was one of the causes of the American Revolution.
Newspapers began to grow in size when they discovered advertising as a source of income. Nowadays, advertising is the main revenue source for most newspapers. As newspapers became more widely circulated, they could ask for more money for their advertisements. By the late eighteenth century, newspapers were in common use in Europe.
The 1800s and early 1900s was the golden age of newspapers. Improvements in transportation, communication and printing processes made it easier to collect news from near and far and to publish papers more quickly and more cheaply. The Weekly Dispatch and the Times, both of London, England, were leading newspapers through much of the 1800s. The Times was one of the first papers to include illustrations. It was the first newspaper to use a steam engine to turn the presses. When the tax on newspapers was reduced in 1836, the Times was able to increase its size considerably. In 1840, it began to use the telegraph to collect news stories. In 1855 the tax on newspapers was finally lifted.
The Times made its greatest reputation during the Crimean War between Britain and Russia. British armies, fighting in Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, were not only unsuccessful in the war, but were suffering severely from illnesses. The Times sent out the world’s first war correspondent, William Howard Russell, in 1854. His reports from the battle lines had a powerful effect on the British public. A War Fund was organized to help the soldiers. Russell forced the government to accept the offer of Florence Nightingale to organize nurses to travel to Crimea. A photographer, Roger Fenton, sent back photos from the war, which were published in the Times.
Meanwhile in America, a more popular approach to newspapers had developed. The newspaper had spread west with the pioneers, and nearly every little settlement had its own paper. American newspapers were cheaper and livelier than British ones. They were aimed at the average person, rather than the governing class. Examples of the new style of editing and publishing were Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Hearst, especially, employed sensational and emotional writing, which aimed at stirring up the public to action. Hearst is sometimes accused of starting the Spanish-American War of 1898 with his over-heated editorials. Nonetheless, his methods were successful in raising circulation and were widely imitated.
The modern newspaper contains more than hard news. In fact, news may be a fairly small part of it. Advertisements, gossip, show business, photos of celebrities, sports, stock market prices, horoscopes, comic strips, weather reports and much more are found in its pages. The modern newspaper is a total entertainment package. A question for the future is whether electronic newspapers will replace paper newspapers.
a very thin book with paper covers, that gives information about something
ￚsee also leaflet
a political pamphlet
the book was first published in pamphlet form
a political pamphlet
[ intransitive ] if information, facts, ideas etc circulate, they become known by many people :
Rumours began circulating that the Prime Minister was seriously ill.
Have you seen today’s paper?
You’ll read about it in tomorrow’s papers.
The story was all over the Sunday papers.
Why don’t you put an ad in the local paper?
much or a lot
It’s considerably colder today.
Conditions have improved considerably over the past few years.
to remove a rule or a law that says that something is not allowed
lift a restriction/an embargo/sanctions etc
The government plans to lift its ban on cigar imports.
method [ countable ] a method of doing something or dealing with a problem
a new approach to teaching languages
He decided to adopt a different approach and teach the Bible through story-telling.
This book takes an unorthodox approach to art criticism.
organizations which take a positive approach to creative thinking
1 someone who is important in the early development of something, and whose work or ideas are later developed by other people
pioneer of John Whitney was a pioneer of computer animation.
He was a pioneer in the field of biotechnology.
2 one of the first people to travel to a new country or area and begin living there, farming etc :
the early pioneers of the Dakota territory
a group of houses and buildings where people live, especially in a place where few people have lived before :
The railway stations created new settlements.
an early Iron Age settlement
new area/places [ uncountable ] when a lot of people move to a place in order to live there, especially in a place where not many people have lived before
settlement of the settlement of the American West
a lively discussion, description etc is very interesting and involves a lot of ideas :
The book offers a lively account of her travels.
a lively debate on environmental issues
very interesting, exciting, and surprising
a sensational discovery
The show was a sensational success.
a sensational 6-0 victory
stir somebody/something ↔ up phrasal verb
to deliberately try to cause arguments or bad feelings between people :
John was always stirring up trouble in class.
Dave’s just trying to stir things up because he’s jealous.
the average number of copies of a newspaper or magazine that are usually sold each day, week, month etc
The newspaper has a daily circulation of 55,000.
information that is passed from one person to another about other people’s behaviour and private lives, often including unkind or untrue remarks
Here’s an interesting piece of gossip about Mrs Smith.
What’s the latest gossip ?
Do you want to hear some juicy gossip ?
She had no time for idle gossip .
It was common gossip how he felt about her.
You miss a lot of office gossip when you have a day off work.
On Sundays all the men gather in the square to exchange local gossip .