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A newspaper is a form of written communication taht is published and distributed on a weekly or daily basis and contains current news, editorial, feature articles and advertising.  Newspapers are usually printing on low-cost paper and appears frequently and regularly [1]. Newspapers tend to focus there information on the geographical location that they are located and distributed.  Most of the modern printed tradition newspapers have editorial sections that allow for readers and writers to voice their opinions.  Many current newspapers include sections of interest such as comics, advertisements and coupons [2].  As the technological advancements such as the television, radio and the World Wide Web the newspaper has remained a major source of information. Newspapers depend on the publication of advertisments in order to make an income [5].





Prior to the development of the printing press and the production of hand written bullitens, news was exchanged orally around campfires, at markets and in passing [3]. 


In Rome, Julius Caesar requested that handwritten bulletins be posted every day during the 1st century BC and this is was seen as the earliest journalistic effort, called the Acta Diurna.  The Acta Diurna was handwritten daily news sheets that contained information on politics, trials, military campaigns, executions and scandals [3].


The Chinese government published news bulletins that were called tipao and were circulated primarily amongst the government officials of the Han dyanasty (202 B.C. to A.D. 221) [3].  During the Tang Dynasty the publication Kaiyan Za Bao was news handwritten on silk and only read by government officers [2].




Modern Remake of Kaiyuan Za Bao




Types of Newsprint




      Electronic Paper

Circulation and Readership



Advertising are messages that are designed to promot sales of services or products.  Advertisments can be placed in the classified section of a newspaper or it can be considered integrated marketing communications that are seen in newspapers and magazines; and heard on television and the radio.




Journalism is reporters gathering information, editors evaluating and publishing information of interest.  As technology as advanced journalism has shifted from primarily reporting information from newspapers to radio, television, magazines and documentary films [4].  The people who write the information in newspapers are claimed to live in the "shadow of technology" [6].  Cathcart states "when the Times introduced steam presses in 1814, or when railways made it possible to get a London paper to Newcastle overnight, or when messages by telegraph outstripped even the train, they did far more to create our national news media than the most brilliant reporter or editor" [6].  The news that journalism creates is far less than the news that was created by the advancements in our communication technology.  The need for more words to fill pages and to satisfy editors is more demanding now as journalism scatters to find stories of interest and this is why journalism will continue to be hypocritical, and becoming more ethical. Journalist must find words to attract readers and printed materials such as newspapers need journalists to keep the production rolling [6].



Impact of Television and the Internet


Newspapers have invested a great deal of money in web site development because there has been an incredible decline in the amount of reading citizens except for the senior population.  The senior population is not in decline because they were part of the transformation of technology to the newspaper.  Finding funding for the development  and maintenance of websites is primarily on the printed advertising revenues because companies have not figured out how to create an internet income.  Although some online newspapers charge a normal subscription rate the online newspaper isn't reaching enough of an audience to create an income[5].  The younger population, ages between 15 and 24 tend to get their news online and circulation of the printed newspaper has been falling for decades.  As the shift from printed newspapers to internet based news increases there wil be an increased about of jobs affected.  Smaller companies have already began to sell their papers to larger companies in order to cut costs.  They have also began to try and pull the younger readers back in by increasing the stories related to entertainment and subjects that seem relevant in that age groups lives decreasing the amount of stories related to politics and international affairs being published [7].


Implications for Media Ecology


As the advancements of technology continue to increase our information superhighway, consumers may result in for interactive, direct forms of information. With many newspapers now having their own website it is decreasing the amount of printed and circulated materials.




[1] "Newspaper" Retrieved 18 November 2008. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/newspaper

[2] "Newspaper" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 18 November 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper

[3] Stephens, Mitchell. "History of Newspapers" Retrieved 18 November 2008. http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Collier's%20page.htm

[4] "Journalism" (2008) The History Channel Website. 24 November 2008. http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=213400. 

[5] "Newspaper" (2008) The History Channel Website. 24 November 2008. http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=217613.

[6] Cathcart, Brian. "Journalist: they can't live without us." New Statesman 137.4915 (29 Sep. 2008): 22:22. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Chadwick Library, Mount Pleasant, IA. 22 November 2008 http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=34478988&site=ehost-live.  

[7] "Who killed the newspaper" (2006). Retrieved 18 November 2008. http://www.economist.com/opinion/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=7830218  






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