The New Student's Reference Work/Newspaper
News′paper, a sheet of paper printed and distributed from time to time for the purpose of conveying news. The number of newspapers now in the world is estimated at 60,000. The bulk is issued as follows: United States 22,806; Germany 8,049; France, 6,681; Great Britain and Ireland, 9,500 besides 2,290 magazines and reviews; Austria-Hungary, 2,958; Italy, 2,757; Spain, 1,000; Russia, 1,000; Switzerland, 1,005; Belgium 956 and Holland 980; and Japan 1,000. Of the languages in which they are published, over 30,000 are printed in English; 7,500 in German; 6,800 in French; 1,800 in Spanish; and 1,500 in Italian. Newspapers first came into existence centuries before the Christian era when the reports of the Roman army were transmitted by the senate to the generals in all parts of the country, but for the actual newspaper we are indebted to Germany. In Augsburg, Vienna, Ratisbon and Nuremberg it was the practice, early in the 15th century, to issue news-sheets in the form of letters. Yet the first newspaper that at all covered the same idea as those of the present day was issued in Venice, by order of the Venetian government in 1566, and called the Notizie Scritte. At first they were not printed, but written out and hung up in various public places, where the people could read them on payment of a small coin. The first actual English newspaper was the Weekly News of 1622, edited and published by Nathaniel Butler. The London Weekly Courant came out in the same year. The first daily paper was the Daily Courant, which appeared, printed on one side only, in 1702. The daily circulation of newspapers in the United Kingdom is about 10,000,000. The regular system of advertising, which supports the newspaper and benefits the advertiser, did not begin until 1673, when the columns of a few papers were opened to regular classified advertisements. Some of the principal and largest newspapers of to-day are: In England the (daily) Times, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Standard, Chronicle, Star, Echo, Evening News and Post; in France the Temps, Figaro, Siècle, Petit Parisien and Petit Journal.
There are now published in the United States over 22,800 newspapers, of which about 2,472 appear daily. The first newspaper published in America was Publick Occurrences (1690), followed in 1704 by the Boston News-Letter and the Boston Gazette. At the present time a newspaper is not only a sheet for disseminating news, but apparently a leader in politics and a commentator on politics, religion, research, science, amusement, sport and social and political economy. See Baker's The Newspaper World.