English Roots of the Free Press

The origins of journalism are similar across Europe. The newspaper grows out of the time-honored twin impulses to report significant political and economic events or sensational, curious, or trivial ones. These impulses long predate the introduction of moveable type so the arrival of the printing press in the mid-15th century was not in itself a necessary cause for the development of the modern newspaper.

European Background

The printed newspaper, in the form of an unbound, sequentially issued, independently edited publication using the same title but differentially dated does not appear until about a century and a half after European printing began—in other words, around 1600. During that delay, intermittently printed prose newsbooks on major individual events, as well as occasional digests of news, would be produced featuring ...

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