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Tuesday, 13 September 2016


The word 'news' did not come about because it was the plural of 'new.' It came from the first letters of the words North, East, West and South. This was because information was being gathered from all different directions.

The world's first written news originated in eighth century B.C. China, where reports gathered by officials were compiled as the Spring and Autumn Annals. The annals were available to a sizeable reading public and dealt with common news themes.

Official government bulletins and edicts were circulated in the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar regularly publicized his heroic deeds in Gaul, and upon becoming Emperor of Rome began publishing government announcements called Acta Diurna. These were carved in metal or stone and posted in public places.

The Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news between 713 and 734; it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials.

Reproduction of Kaiyuan Za Bao court newspaper from the Tang dynasty

Town criers were a common means of conveying information to city dwellers in medieval Europe. In thirteenth-century Florence, criers known as banditori arrived in the market regularly, to announce political news, to convoke public meetings, and to call the populace to arms.

Some town criers could be paid to include advertising along with news.

Woodcut by Tommaso Garzoni depicting a town crier with a trumpet
The development of the electric telegraph in the mid-1840s enabled news to travel faster, over longer distances. The first news it transmitted was in 1844 where the American public were informed that Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen had been chosen by the Whig nominating party.

When the Mexican–American War broke out in 1846, the New York Herald assigned a reporter to the conflict—the only newspaper in New York to do so—and used the telegraph to not only beat competitors with news but provide Washington policymakers with the first reports from the conflict.

In 1848 the German Paul Julius Reuter moved to Paris during the revolution and started sending news items back to German newspapers via a pigeon carrier service. Three years later he immigrated to London, where he established the Reuters news agency. Reuter specialized in news from the continent using the newly constructed telegraph line between Britain and Europe.

Reuters office in Bonn, Germany, 1988. By Bundesarchiv, Wikipedia Commons

Woodrow Wilson held the first open presidential news conference in 1913.

The first radio news program was broadcast by 8MK in Detroit, Michigan in 1920.

In the first BBC radio news report, the news was read twice, once quickly and once slowly. Listeners were asked which they preferred.

On the 20: 45 news bulletin on Good Friday, April 18, 1930 the BBC Radio reported, "There is no news." Instead, they played piano music for the rest of the 15-minute segment. The wireless service then returned to broadcasting from the Queen's Hall in Langham Place, London, where the Wagner opera Parsifal was being performed.

Sheila Borrett became Britain’s first female radio newsreader in 1933. She had a deep, clear voice, but a woman reading the news on the Home Service caused outrage, and after countless complaints she was taken off air after just three months.

In 1938 a World News Roundup was broadcast for the first time on CBS Radio in the United States.

Warner Brothers released the first color newsreel to be shown to movie audiences in 1948. It included pictures of the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl game

The term ‘anchor’, a central and authoritative news presenter, was coined to describe US newsreader Walter Cronkite’s coverage of the 1952 presidential election.

The BBC broadcast its first daily TV news programme on July 5, 1954. The 20-minute bulletin was read by Richard Baker and introduced as an ‘Illustrated summary of the news.’

In 1955 British script editor Barbara Mandell became the world's first female television newsreader when she was recruited to present the Midday News on the UK's newly launched Independent Television.

Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first U. S. President to record a TV news conference on January 19, 1955.

Ted Turner's creation of the Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980 inaugurated a new era of 24-hour satellite news broadcasting.

During the September 11 attacks, Fox News began running a news ticker on the bottom of the screen to keep up with the flow of information that day. The ticker has remained in continuous use ever since.

Source Daily Mail

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