The Early Stages of News

From the early days news was present. News spread by people talking to each other and sharing information. When something new happened people used to hear about it from someone. When travellers came into town, the citizens of the town made it a habit to ask the traveller about what he knows about the outside world.  Word of mouth was the primary way news spread.

People discussed among themselves in public gatherings. Public gathering such as Roman baths and Greek forums were common places people visited when they wanted to hear the news. In England coffee houses stood as places where people heard news.

In the case of a government proclamation news was spread by edicts and bulletins informing the public of the news. The Roman emperors used to make public announcements by carving the notice on a stone and posting it in public places. In Egypt pharaohs used couriers to send their commands and laws across the country. In England government proclamations were sent to the sheriff who then would have it publicly displayed.

The town crier was a popular method of news distribution. The town crier would usually go to the market place and announce political news, laws, crimes, lost items and to call the people for arms. The town crier was sometimes paid to advertise as well. At times of sickness, the town criers would stand at the city gates and make announcements of it.

In Asia one of the first written news occurred in China where government produced news sheet called Tipao were circulated among court officials. Further there was evidence as to privately published news sheets in Beijing.

Japan had a well-functioning postal method where runners used to travel to distribute news to another town or individual.

Runners were also popular in Europe as they would go from town to town declaring the news. As time passed the governments started to release their handwritten notes to circulate among the citizens. As the postal method of news delivery was introduced it was very popular and even after the introduction of newspapers most people relied on posts for reliable news.

With the spread of the printing press and paper the newspaper emerged. This method allowed printing of news fast and easy. Initially news for public consumption was regulated by the government but as time passed newspaper became independent of the government.

Further the development of electric telegraph enabled the news to spread faster and the newspaper became one of the popular methods that exist to this day. Similarly with the invention of the radio and thereafter the television brought news to a new height and new news is not spread within mere minutes and can be accessed by anyone.