Newspaper Industry

Important Publications

Earliest Newspapers:

  • Caesar's time: Acta Diurna, which means actions of the day
  • Corantos: One-page news sheet printed in Holand and imported to England.
  • Diurnals: Daily newspapers

Broadsides: Also referred to as broadsheets, announcements of events in a single sheet.

By 1765, there were 30 newspapers operated in the colonies. Circulation was limited, and the biggest paper had around 1500 people circulation, because it was really hard to circulate due to transportation and printing.

Penny Press: NY had a perfect recipe to spread newspaper. The city was densely populated, very cultural, full of politics and since there was a lot of immigrants it was also demographically diverse. Besides people were learning how to read, and than the penny press were newspapers sold for a penny to attract people. This was an example of broadcasting, since a large number of people were getting access to the information.

Contained police and court reports, crime stories, entertainment news and human interest stories. Had series stories so people had to buy several papers to know the end of the story.

Wire Services:

  • Associated Press, in NY.

Wire services worked to produce stories outside town, so than it would be possible for one source of news to be spread between several newspapers. This way, the newspaper companies didn't have to each send a reporter to report something, they only send one person and shared that information.

Consequences: We can get fresh stories, but we will get different versions of the same stories depending on the bias of the newspaper.

Yellow Journalism

Not that different from today, focuses on sex, crimes, wars, and big headlines to call the attention of costumers to buying the paper.

Joseph Pulitzer

He came up with the St Louis Post Dispatch by uniting the St Louis Post and the St Louis Dispatch together, which today is the only mainstream newspaper in St Louis.

Consequences: There are no competing points of view when there is a monopoly of information.

Joseph was also the first one to target women in his newspaper, having fashion news, advice column, horoscope and recipes.

Trivia Fact: As for today, Macy's is still their biggest advertiser.

William Randolph Hearst

He said that people don't want facts, they want novelty. Therefore, instead of focusing on getting accurate stories, news start to get fresh information that people wanted to hear instead of needed to hear.

He had an empire, and let to what we have today, since only a few companies own ALL the newspapers in America. Since the goal of the newspaper industry is to make MONEY, having only a few companies control all the information means a monopoly of information is going to limit the information reaching out to the public.

Besides, this information is made to SELL and not to INFORM.

Big Newspapers

USA Today: Was criticized by using too many color and photos in its publications, charts, graphs and short stories. Another big one is The Wall Street Journal.

Hyper commercialism

Criticism on the news, which now focuses in solely selling adds. It even has adds in the front page, which admits that they are in for the money.


Integrated audience: circulation plus the online audience. However, getting information for free online makes us think we do not need to buy or to subscribe to a newspaper.

Some people have integrated reading the newspaper as their morning routine.

However, the new generation is less concerned about this routine, and adapting to a new one.

Criticism: Too much soft news, which means feature stories, but very little hard news. People today are used to instant news, with the use of tools such as twitter, and this is something newspaper cannot provide.

Besides, they try to set an agenda and set a bias to get certain political goals by using the news.

Adolph Ochs

He bought the New York Times in 1896, and we wanted to focus on hard news. He used the inverted pyramid writing.

If his reporters used this pyramid, they could keep the writing less biased.

Walter Lippmann

Said the press should analyze current situations and suggest plans and attempt to fix it rather than only reporting the news.

50 years from now...

Newspapers are most likely to disappear. As old habits die with the ones who preserve them, newspapers will most likely to be replaced by news on the different electronic means, such as smartphones, tablets and computers.

We are the "least-informed but most well-entertained society on earth." - Neil Postman

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