For centuries, civilizations have used print media to spread news and information to the general populace. Even during Julius Caesar’s time, texts describing military, legal, and civil matters were written on metal or stone placed in heavily trafficked areas of Rome. The first newspaper was printed in Germany in 1605, and over the course of the 17th century, newspapers were introduced to the rest of Europe. The first English newspaper in Africa was published in Cape Town in 1800, followed a year later by two newspapers in Sierra Leone.

This entry looks at the history of print newspapers and the evolution in their format and approach. It then discusses newspapers as historical sources and economic challenges to print newspapers, particularly the rise in prominence of online ...

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