Five major events that marked turning points in the history of journalism


Collage by Rosemary Leger, images courtesy of Google

By Tristan Davis

  1. The year is 1440, and… German blacksmith Johann Gutenberg has invented the printing press. Using metal movable type, he adapted other existing inventions like the screw press to create an efficient printing system. By the year 1500, the machine had made its way through most of Europe, producing over twenty million volumes of books and newspapers.
  1. The year is 1620, and…small London news companies begin creating and distributing “corantos”, which were pamphlet-sized readings that briefed foreign news plucked from German and Dutch news journals. Many of the reporting tips and styles from the corantos influenced current papers still in production today.
  1. The year is 1704, and…the Boston News-Letter, America’s first successful newspaper, is published and distributed throughout the Boston area. Due to British control, it was heavily influenced and affected by the British government. John Campbell was its first editor, and one of the many contributors to the papers’ famous coverage of Blackbeard the pirate’s death in 1718.
  1. The year is 1851, and…Henry J. Raymond has founded The New York Times. Since its 1st birthday, it has become one of the most respected and well-circulated newspapers in the world. It remains atop the standard of journalism today, and regularly reports on news, entertainment, sports and politics.
  1. The year is 1990, and…the internet has permanently reshaped how journalism is practiced around the world. “Citizen journalism” runs rampant, with bystanders recording footage on their phones and uploading it to various social media sites. Reporters everywhere connect with one another and make news more available and accessible.

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