The main function of newspapers is to report the news. Many newspapers also provide opinions on the news, reports on public policies, special information & advice to readers, & sometimes include features such as comic strips, cartoons, & reviews. They depend on the publication of commercial advertising for their income.
Newspapers are 1 of the major sources that gives information about important news. Newspaper publishers in the U.S. estimate that nearly 8 out of 10 Americans read a newspaper every day.
Newspapers are a significant force for informing people & also helping to mold their opinions.
Early History of the Newspaper
Before 1609, when the earliest known newspapers were publishedm, news was spread by word of mouth, written letters & public notices. These papers, printed in northern Germany, were called corantos, & they contained "tydings," often about events in other countries. The word news was not used until a century later.
Within 20 years newspapers were being published though out Europe. Some Amsterdam papers, printed in both English & French, soon found their way to London, where the first newspaper was published in 1621, & to Paris, where a newspaper was begun in 1631.
Early newspapers were small, usually consisting of only one page. They had no headlines or advertising & looked more like newsletters than today's newspapers.
Diaries can be used to plan life events (e.g. a planner) or to record life events. Diaries; unlike newspapers; are usually confidential to the writer.
Magazines can give information on a large range of subjects; like social topics to more specific topics; e.g. history, sports, computers, etc.