Roman Empire: 130 BCE
People started to receive news in the Roman Empire. This time was before the year zero around 130 BCE and onwards. In most places, the daily events A.K.A Acta Diurna, in Latin, were carved into stone and placed into different public places such as the market. Most of the information that was written on the stones were about deaths, marriages, births, and results of legal trials. It you imagine the great stress and difficulty people have to go through just to send news out to everyone? It’s a struggle. By hand, stones were being carved every day. And, notice, since they had a daily report, people would have to replace the stones on those streets and markets and local places every day. It’s pretty much a workout to work for the news stones.
But, the news that people should have been aware of were being blocked by the government threatening the publishers to cut them out if they didn’t post propaganda. If you’re wondering what propaganda is, it is information that gives aid and spreads the good things about governments. Which is?
Chinese news: 100 BCE
Anyways, the news was also being used in China around 100 BCE. Instead of Acta Diurna, they called the government’s messages, Dibao, which means Government Report. And, of course, the government was controlling everything that was being heard and read on the news. So this is how the locals heard their news in China. And, can you believe that for decades, hundreds and thousands of years, this was how people got their news?
Carving on stone. Decades go by. Carving on stone. A century goes by. Carving on stone. A few millenniums goes by. CARVING ON STONE. CARVING ON STONE.
Birth of the Printing Press: Circa 1454 AD
Finally, after thousands of years of carving on stone and other slow processes to spread news, a man named Johannes Gutenberg invented something extremely awesome. It was the birth of a new invention which was called the printing press. If you look to your left, you will notice this large contraption which, in close detail, has small metal parts that move when you press certain things on the machine.This became the most effective way of producing and sharing news to others. Because of this machine, print became faster to write, easier to bring around, simpler to make multiple duplicates, less force exerted and, for me, fun to use. Also, because of this German man, the first book of Western Europe was printed. This book is known as the Gutenberg Bible. While 180 copies were printed of this book, only 49 seemed to have survived to this day.
Even though a lot of reports mention that the Gutenberg Bible was the first book ever printed, this is not true. Since the 800’s, China has been producing full – length books using the process of wooden block printing.
European Corantos: 1620 AD
Translation of Corantos:
Single – page Newsletters
This type of news wrote mainly about war and other interesting subjects which displeased the government. The European Corantos was immediately censored by the government as they didn’t want people to learn anything about the news that was being spread through this. With the government stopping the Corantos from doing anything interesting much, they were forced to just write about propaganda.
John Milton’s Speech: 1644 AD
People did notice and disliked the fact that the government was stopping most from
hearing the news that they wanted to know. John Milton was a greatly known poet who stood up for his belief that people should have the right to information. Even though his speech didn’t work at the time, it has played a very important role in our time.
The Oxford Gazette: 1665 AD
The Oxfords Gazette is known as the first English newspaper that was printed and the oldest newspaper ever printed. This newspaper helped people to know about the Great Fire a year later it happened. You can still read this newspaper today!
Journalism is a very interesting subject. I enjoyed learning about the history and how it was shaped to be how it was today.