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Introduction to Mass Communication

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With a sort of boon coming in the world of print communication with the availability of printing
press, telegraph, telephone and telex, the publishing industry made hey while the sun was shinning.
The first hundred years was the time when the print industry tried to comprehend the new situation and
shaped itself into a regular and formal sector but from the start of the 19th century, print media in most
countries started specializing in certain areas. Since business in the form of advertisements in the print was
also flourishing, the media enjoyed a great deal of financial comfort and provided jobs to tens of thousands
of people across the globe.
The publishing industry, a synonym with print media, could be classified in general terms into three distinct
NewspapersMagazinesBooks In the following paragraphs we will see these three areas with more details.


It took about 150 years from the invention of printing press in the middle of 15th century that the
world witnessed first regular publication which could be defined as a newspaper.
Although there have been claims by many to be decorated as first newspaper like Mixed News in China in
710, Notizie Scritte, a monthly newspaper for which readers pay a “gazetta”, or small coin by Venetian
government in 1556 etc, the World Association of Newspapers held “Relation”, as the first newspaper
published in France in 1605. By this reckoning the newspapers’ history is 400 years old. The Relation
followed a list of news papers from all around the world. Here is a brief account of some popular papers:

1621 ---- In London, the newspaper Courante is published.

1631 ---- The Gazette, the first French newspaper, is founded.

1639 ---- First American colonial printing press.

1645 ---- World’s oldest newspaper still in circulation, Post-och Inrikes Tidningar, is published in Sweden

1690 ---- Publick Occurrences is the first newspaper published in America when it appears in Boston. The
editor, Benjamin Harris, stated he would issue the paper “once a month, or, if any Glut of Occurrences
happen, oftener.” The royal authority, wary of publications printed without its express consent, suppresses
the newspaper after only one issue.

1704 ---- Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe and often recognized as the world’s first journalist,
begins to publish the Review, a periodical covering European affairs.

1798 ---- Alois Sedenfelder Invents Lithography. Although invented over two centuries ago, off set
lithography first gained popularity in the 1960’s, and is now the industry standard.

1803 ---- Australia’s military government publishes the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, the
country’s first newspaper. This is only fifteen years after the colony of convicts had been established in
Sydney Cove.

1812 ---- Friedrich Koenig invents the Steam Powered Cylinder Press. In 1814, John Walter, publisher of
The Times in London, began to assemble the new press in secrecy, fearing that his pressmen might riot if
they discovered his plans. On the night of November 28, 1814, Walter took his pressmen away from their
hand presses with the excuse that he was expecting important news from the continent. He then used
Koenig’s presses to produce the entire print run of The Times -- at an output of 1,100 sheets per hour.

1844 ---- Telegraph is invented.

1851 ---- Reuters – news agency, is established.

1900 ----Vladimir Lenin founds Iskra, in Leipzig, Germany. This revolutionary newspaper is to become a
major tool for Communist propaganda.

1903 ---- Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord North cliffe) develops the first tabloid newspaper, the Daily Mirror,
in London. The Daily Mirror introduced the concept of the “exclusive” interview. The first was with Lord
Minto, the new Viceroy of India, in 1905.
As the newspapers came to age, they assumed different shapes and assigned themselves different jobs.


General-interest newspapers are usually journals of current news. Those can include :
Political events
Opinions (either editorials, columns, or political cartoons)
Newspapers use photographs to illustrate stories; they use editorial cartoonists, usually to illustrate writing
that is opinion, rather than news.
Some specific features a newspaper may include are:
weather news and forecasts
an advice column
critical reviews of movies, plays, restaurants, etc.
editorial opinions
a gossip column
comic strips and other entertainment, such as crosswords and horoscopes
a sports column or section
a humor column or section
a food column

Types of newspapers

Besides the contents, the newspapers also specialize in their type.
International newspapers
Weekly newspapers
Sunday newspapers
National newspaper
Local newspaper


A big issue with newspapers is always the size of their circulation. This also determines the revenue
it can generate, and number of people it can employ with it. The mass circulation also gives a newspaper a
weigh in a number of local and national matters and its editorial staff enjoys a unique freedom in more than
one ways.
Some top ranking newspapers circulation-wise are as follow:

Rank Title Country Circulation (000)

1. Yomiuri Shimbun Japan 14,067
2. The Asahi Shimbun Japan 12,121
3. Mainichi Shimbun Japan 5,587
4. Nihon Keizai Shimbun Japan 4,635
5. Chunichi Shimbun Japan 4,512
6. Bild Germany 3,867
7. Sankei Shimbun Japan 2,757
8. Canako Xiaoxi (Beijing) China 2,627
9. People’s Daily China 2,509
10. Tokyo Sports Japan 2,425


A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by
advertising, purchased by readers, or both.
Magazines are typically published weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly or quarterly, with a date on the
cover that is later than the date it is actually published. They are often printed in colour on coated paper,
and are bound with a soft cover.

Types of magazines

Art magazines
Business magazines
Music magazines
Computer magazines
Children's magazines
Health and fitness magazines
History magazines
Humor magazines
Inspirational magazines
Men's magazines
Women's magazines
Luxury magazines
News magazines
Online magazines
Pulp magazines
Pornographic magazines
Regional magazines
Satirical magazines
Teen magazines

Consumer magazines

Consumer magazines are aimed at the public and are usually available through retail outlets. They
range from general-interest titles such as Time, Esquire and Cosmopolitan, which appeal to a broad spectrum of
readers, to highly specialist titles covering particular hobbies, leisure pursuits or other interests.

Business magazines

Many business magazines are available only, or predominantly, on subscription. In some cases these
subscriptions are available to any person prepared to pay; in others, free subscriptions are available to
readers who meet a set of criteria established by the publisher. This practice, known as controlled circulation, is
intended to guarantee to advertisers that the readership is relevant to their needs.
All magazines have some elements in common, even if they are a listings magazine or a simple advertising
vehicle. The main features of content in magazines mainly consist of the cover page features, reviews,
problem pages, interviews, advertisements, competitions and some form of gossip. Other common
elements are; advice columns, campaigns, do it yourself features, in our next issues, makeovers, letters’ page,
opinion columns, and contents pages.
The main features of presentation of magazines are the cover pages, the layout and the design photographs
and illustrations use of colour, an insight of the actual magazine and visual narrative. The better the visual
narrative of the magazine, the more it will appeal to its specific audience.


Though books existed before print technology, they were limited in number and their readership
was also confined to few.
A book is a collection of paper, parchment or other material with a piece of text written on them, bound
together along one edge, usually within covers. Each side of a sheet is called a page and a single sheet within
a book may be called a leaf. A book is also a literary work or a main division of such a work
Books became part of the mass media after the printing process was invented. Now they are in the reach of
almost everyone and could cover any distance on the planet. Their topics are varied and their value could be
judged from the fact that most libraries in the world are due to books rather than other published material.
When writing systems were invented in ancient civilizations, nearly everything that could be written upon—
stone, clay, tree bark, metal sheets—was used for writing. Alphabetic writing emerged in Egypt around 1800
Egyptian papyrus showing the god Osiris and the weighing of the
heart 􀃖
In Ancient Egypt, papyrus (a form of paper made by weaving the stems of
the papyrus plant, then pounding the woven sheet with a hammer like tool)
was used for writing maybe as early as from First Dynasty, but first
evidence is from the account books of King Neferirkare Kakai of the Fifth
Dynasty (about 2400 BC).

Middle Ages

Before the invention and adoption of the printing press, almost all books were copied by hand,
which made books expensive and comparatively rare. Smaller monasteries had usually only some dozen
books, medium sized a couple hundred. By the ninth century larger
collections held around 500 volumes.
Wood block printing
A 15th century incunabulum 􀃖
Notice the blind-tooled cover, cornerbosses and clasps for holding the book
Innovations in casting the type based on a matrix and hand mould. This
invention made books comparatively affordable (although still quite expensive
for most people) and more widely available. It is estimated that in Europe
about 1,000 various books were created per year before the development of the printing press.


Though papermaking in Europe had begun around the 11th century, up until the beginning of 16th
century vellum and paper were produced congruent to one another, vellum being the more expensive and
durable option. Printers or publishers would often issue the same publication on both materials, to cater to
more than one market. As was the case with many medieval inventions, paper was first made in China, as
early as 200 B.C., and reached Europe through Muslim territories. At first made of rags, the industrial
revolution changed paper-making practices, allowing for paper to be made
out of wood pulp.
Modern world
A collection of Penguin Books 􀃖
With the rise of printing in the fifteenth century, books were
published in limited numbers and were quite valuable. The need to protect
these precious commodities was evident. One of the earliest references to the use of bookmarks was in
1584 when the Queen's Printer, Christopher Barker, presented Queen Elizabeth I with a fringed silk
bookmark. Common bookmarks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were narrow silk ribbons bound
into the book at the top of the spine and extended below the lower edge of the page. The first detachable
bookmarks began appearing in the 1850's and were made from silk, embroidered fabrics or leather. Not
until the 1880's, did paper and other materials become more common.
Steam-powered printing presses became popular in the early 1800s. These machines could print 1,100
sheets per hour, but workers could only set 2,000 letters per hour. Monotype and linotype presses were
introduced in the late 19th century. They could set more than 6,000 letters per hour and an entire line of
type at once.
The centuries after the 15th century were thus spent on improving both the printing press and the
conditions for freedom of the press through the gradual relaxation of restrictive censorship laws. In mid-
20th century, Europe book production had risen to over 200,000 titles per year.

Collections of books

In the Middle Ages, monasteries and universities had also
libraries that could be accessible to general public. Typically not the
whole collection was available to public; the books could not be
borrowed and often were chained to reading stands to prevent theft.
Celsus was built in 135 A.D. and could house around 12,000
The beginning of modern public begins around 15th century.
The advent of paperback books in the 20th century led to an explosion of popular publishing. Paperback
books made owning books affordable for many people.

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