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A newspaper is a publication containing news, information, and advertising. General-interest newspapers often feature articles on political events, crime, business, art/entertainment, society and sports. Most traditional papers also feature an editorial page containing columns that express the personal opinions of writers. Supplementary sections may contain advertising, comics, and coupons.

Features in a newspaper may include:



History

Before movable type

In Ancient Rome, Acta Diurna, or government announcement bulletins, were made public by Julius Caesar. They were carved on metal or stone and posted in public places.

In Chinamarker, early government-produced news sheets, called tipao, circulated among court officials during the late Han dynasty (second and third centuries AD). Between 713 and 734, the Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news; it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials. In 1582 there was the first reference to privately published newssheets in Beijing, during the late Ming Dynastymarker;

In 1556, the government of Venicemarker first published the monthly Notizie scritte, which cost one gazetta. These avvisi were handwritten newsletters and used to convey political, military, and economic news quickly and efficiently throughout Europe, more specifically Italymarker, during the early modern era — sharing some characteristics of newspapers though usually not considered true newspapers.

Modern era

Newspapers printed with movable type date to the beginning of the 17th century.

Asia

By 1638 the Peking Gazette had switched from woodblock print to movable type.

Europe

Johann Carolus' Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, published in 1605 in Strasbourgmarker, is often recognized as the first newspaper. Strasbourg was a free imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire; the first newspaper of modern Germanymarker was the Avisa, published in 1609 in Augsburgmarker.

The Dutchmarker Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. of 1618 was the first to appear in folio- rather than quarto-size. Amsterdammarker, a center of world trade, quickly became home to newspapers in many languages, often before they were published in their own country.Stephens, Mitchell, " History of Newspapers," Collier's Encyclopedia

The first English-language newspaper, Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc., was published in Amsterdam in 1620. A year and a half later, Corante, or weekely newes from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, France and the Low Countreys. was published in Englandmarker by an "N.B." (generally thought to be either Nathaniel Butter or Nicholas Bourne) and Thomas Archer.

The first newspaper in Francemarker was published in 1631, La Gazette (originally published as Gazette de France).

Post- och Inrikes Tidningar (founded as Ordinari Post Tijdender) was first published in Swedenmarker in 1645, and is the oldest newspaper still in existence, though it now publishes solely online.

Opregte Haarlemsche Courant from Haarlemmarker, first published in 1656, is the oldest paper still printed. It was forced to merge with the newspaper Haarlems Dagblad in 1942 when Germany occupied the Netherlands. Since then the Haarlems Dagblad appears with the subtitle Oprechte Haerlemse Courant 1656 and considers itself to be the oldest newspaper still publishing.

The first successful English daily, The Daily Courant, was published from 1702 to 1735.

North America



In Bostonmarker in 1690, Benjamin Harris published Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick . This is considered the first newspaper in the American colonies even though only one edition was published before the paper was suppressed by the government. In 1704, the governor allowed The Boston News-Letter to be published and it became the first continuously published newspaper in the colonies. Soon after, weekly papers began publishing in New York and Philadelphia. These early newspapers followed the British format and were usually four pages long. They mostly carried news from Britain and content depended on the editor’s interests. In 1783, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first American daily.

In 1751, John Bushell published the Halifax Gazette, the first Canadian newspaper.

Industrial Revolution

By the early 19th century, many cities in Europe, as well as North and South America, published newspaper-type publications though not all of them developed in the same way; content was vastly shaped by regional and cultural preferences. Advances in printing technology related to the Industrial Revolution enabled newspapers to become an even more widely circulated means of communication. In 1814, The Times (Londonmarker) acquired a printing press capable of making 1,100 impressions per minute.

Soon, it was adapted to print on both sides of a page at once. This innovation made newspapers cheaper and thus available to a larger part of the population. In 1830, the first penny press newspaper came to the market: Lynde M. Walter's Boston Transcript. Penny press papers cost about one sixth the price of other newspapers and appealed to a wider audience.

Impact of television and Internet

By the late 1990s the availability of news via 24-hour television channels and then the Internet posed an ongoing challenge to the business model of most newspapers in developed countries. Paid circulation has declined, while advertising revenue — which makes up the bulk of most newspapers’ income — has been shifting from print to the new media, resulting in a general decline in profits. Many newspapers around the world launched online editions in an attempt to follow or stay ahead of their audience.

However, in the rest of the world, cheaper printing and distribution, increased literacy, the growing middle class and other factors have more than compensated for the emergence of electronic media and newspapers continue to grow.

Categories

While most newspapers are aimed at a broad spectrum of readers, usually geographically defined, some focus on groups of readers defined more by their interests than their location: for example, there are daily and weekly business newspapers and sports newspapers. More specialist still are some weekly newspapers, usually free and distributed within limited areas; these may serve communities as specific as certain immigrant populations, or the local gay community.

Daily

A daily newspaper is issued every day, sometimes with the exception of Sundays and some national holidays. Saturday and, where they exist, Sunday editions of daily newspapers tend to be larger, include more specialized sections and advertising inserts, and cost more. Typically, the majority of these newspapers’ staff work Monday to Friday, so the Sunday and Monday editions largely depend on content done in advance or content that is syndicated. Most daily newspapers are published in the morning. Afternoon or evening papers are aimed more at commuters and office workers.

Weekly

Weekly newspapers are common and tend to be smaller than daily papers. In some cases, there also are newspapers that are published twice or three times a week. In the United States, such newspapers are generally still classified as weeklies.

National

Most nations have at least one newspaper that circulates throughout the whole country: a national newspaper, as contrasted with a local newspaper serving a city or region. In the United Kingdommarker, there are numerous national newspapers, including The Independent, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror.In the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker, there are few national newspapers. Almost every market has one or two newspapers that dominate the area. Certain newspapers, notably The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today in the US, and The Globe and Mail and The National Post in Canada are available throughout the country. In Indiamarker, were Internet penetration is too low as comparable to other developed countries therefore newspaper like Times of India, The Hindu, Hindustan Times etc are the only source of information for rural and urban people. Large metropolitan newspapers with also have expanded distribution networks and, with effort, can be found outside their normal area.



International

There is also a small group of newspapers which may be characterised as international newspapers. Some, such as The International Herald Tribune, have always had that focus, while others are repackaged national newspapers or “international editions” of national-scale or large metropolitan newspapers. Often these international editions are scaled down to remove articles that might not interest the wider range of readers.

As English has become the international language of business and technology, many newspapers formerly published only in non-English languages have also developed English-language editions. In places as varied as Jerusalemmarker and Bombaymarker (Mumbaimarker), newspapers are printed to a local and international English-speaking public. The advent of the Internet has also allowed the non-English newspapers to put out a scaled-down English version to give their newspaper a global outreach.

Online

With the introduction of the Internet, Web-based “newspapers” have also started to be produced as online-only publications. The oldest example may be The Weekend City Press Review, set up in 1991. A weekly online newspaper released on a subscription basis, it provides a summary of the weekend articles from 13 UK newspapers and has a online archive back to 1995, containing 60,000 indexed business articles.. Another example is a local paper called the Southport Reporter.

Virtually all printed newspapers have online editions, which depending on the country may be regulated by journalism orgnizations such as the Press Complaints Commission in the UK.

As of 2009, the collapse of the traditional business model of print newspapers has led to various attempts to establish local, regional or national online-only newspapers - publications that do original reporting, rather than just commentary or summaries of reporting from other publications. An early major example in the U.S. is the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , which stopped publishing after 149 years in March 2009 and went online only.

Employment

Job titles within the newspaper industry vary greatly. In the United States, the overall manager of the newspaper — sometimes also the owner — may be termed the publisher. This usage is less common outside the U.S., but throughout the English-speaking world the person responsible for content is usually referred to as the editor. Variations on this title such as editor-in-chief, executive editor, and so on, are common.

Zoned and other editions

Newspapers often refine distribution of ads and news through zoning and editioning. Zoning occurs when advertising and editorial content change to reflect the location to which the product is delivered. The editorial content often may change merely to reflect changes in advertising — the quantity and layout of which affects the space available for editorial — or may contain region-specific news. In rare instances, the advertising may not change from one zone to another, but there will be different region-specific editorial content. As the content can vary widely, zoned editions are often produced in parallel.

Editioning occurs in the main sections as news is updated throughout the night. The advertising is usually the same in each edition (with the exception of zoned regionals, in which it is often the ‘B’ section of local news that undergoes advertising changes). As each edition represents the latest news available for the next press run, these editions are produced linearly, with one completed edition being copied and updated for the next edition. The previous edition is always copied to maintain a Newspaper of Record and to fall back on if a quick correction is needed for the press. For example, both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal offer a regional edition, printed through a local contractor, and featuring locale specific content. The Journal’s global advertising rate card provides a good example of editioning.

Format

Most modern newspapers are in one of three sizes:

Newspapers are usually printed on inexpensive, off-white paper known as newsprint. Since the 1980s, the newspaper industry has largely moved away from lower-quality letterpress printing to higher-quality, four-color process, offset printing. In addition, desktop computers, word processing software, graphics software, digital cameras and digital prepress and typesetting technologies have revolutionized the newspaper production process. These technologies have enabled newspapers to publish color photographs and graphics, as well as innovative layout and better design.

To help their titles stand out on newsstands, some newspapers are printed on coloured newsprint. For example, the Financial Times is printed on a distinctive salmon pink paper, and Sheffieldmarker’s weekly sports publication derives its name, the Green ’Un, from the traditional colour of its paper. The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport is also printed on pink paper while L'Équipe (formerly L’Auto) is printed on yellow paper. Both the latter promoted major cycling races and their newsprint colours were reflected in the colours of the jerseys used to denote the race leader; for example the leader in the Giro d'Italia wears a pink jersey.

Circulation and readership

The number of copies distributed, either on an average day or on particular days (typically Sunday), is called the newspaper’s circulation and is one of the principal factors used to set advertising rates. Circulation is not necessarily the same as copies sold, since some copies or newspapers are distributed without cost. Readership figures may be higher than circulation figures because many copies are read by more than one person, although this is offset by the number of copies distributed but not read (especially for those distributed free).



According to the Guinness Book of Records, the daily circulation of the Soviet newspaper Trud exceeded 21,500,000 in 1990, while the Soviet weekly Argumenty i Fakty boasted the circulation of 33,500,000 in 1991.

According to United Nations data from 1995 Japanmarker has three daily papers —the Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, and Mainichi Shimbun — with circulations well above 5.5 million. Germanymarker’s Bild, with a circulation of 3.8 million, was the only other paper in that category.

In the United Kingdommarker, The Sun is the top seller, with around 2.98 million copies distributed daily (late 2008).

In Indiamarker, The Times of India is the largest-circulation English newspaper, with 3.14 million copies daily. According to the 2009 Indian Readership Survey, the Dainik Jagran is the most-read, local-language (Hindi) newspaper, with 55.7 million readers.

In the U.S., the Wall Street Journal has a daily circulation of approximately 2.01 million, making it the most widely distributed paper in the country.

A common measure of a newspaper’s health is market penetration, expressed as a percentage of households that receive a copy of the newspaper against the total number of households in the paper’s market area. In the 1920s, on a national basis in the U.S., daily newspapers achieved market penetration of 130 percent (meaning the average U.S. household received 1.3 newspapers). As other media began to compete with newspapers, and as printing became easier and less expensive giving rise to a greater diversity of publications, market penetration began to decline. It wasn’t until the early 1970s, however, that market penetration dipped below 100 percent. By 2000, it was 53 percent.

Many paid-for newspapers offer a variety of subscription plans. For example, someone might want only a Sunday paper, or perhaps only Sunday and Saturday, or maybe only a workweek subscription, or perhaps a daily subscription.

Most newspapers provide some or all of their content on the Internet, either at no cost or for a fee. In some cases, free access is available only for a matter of days or weeks, after which readers must register and provide personal data. In other cases, free archives are provided.

Advertising

The bulk of newspapers' revenue comes from advertising - the contribution from sales is small by comparison. On average, a newspaper generates 80% of its revenue from advertising and 20% from sales. The portion of the newspaper that is not advertising is called editorial content, editorial matter, or simply editorial, although the last term is also used to refer specifically to those articles in which the newspaper and its guest writers express their opinions.

Newspapers have been hurt by the decline of many traditional advertisers. Department stores and supermarkets could be relied upon in the past to buy pages of newspaper advertisements, but due to industry consolidation are much less likely to do so now. Additionally, newspapers are seeing traditional advertisers shift to new media platforms. The classified category is shifting to sites including craigslist, employment websites, and auto sites. National advertisers are shifting to many types of digital content including websites, rich media platforms, and mobile.

In recent years, the advertorial emerged. Advertorials are most commonly recognized as an opposite-editorial which third-parties pay a fee to have included in the paper. Advertorials commonly advertise new products or techniques, such as a new design for golf equipment, a new form of laser surgery, or weight-loss drugs. The tone is usually closer to that of a press release than of an objective news story.

Journalism

Since newspapers began as a journal (record of current events), the profession involved in the making of newspapers began to be called journalism.

In the yellow journalism era of the 19th century, many newspapers in the United States relied on sensational stories that were meant to anger or excite the public, rather than to inform. The restrained style of reporting that relies on fact checking and accuracy regained popularity around World War II.

Criticism of journalism is varied and sometimes vehement. Credibility is questioned because of anonymous sources; errors in facts, spelling, and grammar; real or perceived bias; and scandals involving plagiarism and fabrication.

In the past, newspapers have often been owned by so-called press barons, and were used either as a rich man’s toy, or a political tool. More recently in the United States, a number of newspapers are being run by large media corporations such as Gannett, The McClatchy Company, Hearst Corporation, Cox Enterprises, Landmark Media Enterprises LLC, Morris Corporation, The Tribune Company, Hollinger International, News Corporation.

Newspapers have, in the modern world, played an important role in the exercise of freedom of expression. Whistle-blowers, and those who “leak” stories of corruption in political circles often choose to inform newspapers before other mediums of communication, relying on the perceived willingness of newspaper editors to expose the secrets and lies of those who would rather cover them. However, there have been many circumstances of the political autonomy of newspapers being curtailed.

Opinions of other writers and readers are expressed in the op-ed (“opposite the editorial page”) and letters to the editors sections of the paper.

Some ways newspapers have tried to improve their credibility are: appointing ombudsmen, developing ethics policies and training, using more stringent corrections policies, communicating their processes and rationale with readers, and asking sources to review articles after publication.

Future

The future of newspapers has been widely debated as the industry has faced down soaring newsprint prices, slumping ad sales, the loss of much classified advertising and precipitous drops in circulation. In recent years the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen -- especially in the United Statesmarker, where the industry has shed a fifth of its journalists since 2001. Revenue has plunged while competition from internet media has squeezed older print publishers.

The debate has become more urgent lately, as a deepening recession has shaved profits, and as once-explosive growth in newspaper web revenues has leveled off, forestalling what the industry hoped would become an important source of revenue. At issue is whether the newspaper industry faces a cyclical trough, or whether new technology has rendered obsolete newspapers in their traditional format.

See also







Notes

  1. Brook, Timothy. (1998). The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22154-0 (Paperback). Page xxi.
  2. A Newspaper Timeline, World Association of Newspapers
  3. Infelise, Mario. “Roman Avvisi: Information and Politics in the Seventeenth Century.” Court and Politics in Papal Rome, 1492-1700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 212,214,216-217.
  4. Concise History of the British Newspaper in the Seventeenth Century
  5. Oldest newspapers still in circulation, World Association of Newspapers
  6. Concise History of the British Newspaper in the Eighteenth Century
  7. newspaper - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  8. Meggs, Philip B. A History of Graphic Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1998. (pp 130–133)
  9. David R. Spencer, The Yellow Journalism (Northwestern University Press, 2007, ISBN 0810123312), p. 22.
  10. Bird, S. Elizabeth. For Enquiring Minds: A Cultural Study of Supermarket Tabloids. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992: 12-17.
  11. N. Ram, futures: India and the world, August 15, 2007, The Hindu
  12. http://www.weekendcitypressreview.co.uk/archive”
  13. Published in UK as the “UK’s only web-based newspaper” in January 2002 in hard copy magazine called “Web Pages Made Easy.”
  14. Journalism Magazine
  15. [1]
  16. Dailies add 12.6 million readers - NRS Chennai, 2009 August 29 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20080116175549/http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200608291820.htm )
  17. "Newspaper circulation falling fast, down 10.6 pct", by Barbara Ortutay (AP), Seattle Times, October 26, 2009
  18. Newspapers: Audience - State of the Mews Media 2004 (http://web.archive.org/web/20070926235749/http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/narrative_newspapers_audience.asp?cat=3&media=2)
  19. The Newspaper Sector Faces A Dangerous Decline of Advertiser Demand - by James A. Maccaro (Wall Street Cosmos Industry Report: Newspaper Publishing)
  20. Newspapers' ad revenue for 2008 fell 23%, according to the Newspaper Association of America. [2]


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