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Journalism History and Timeline

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches educ. and comm. courses and holds an MA in Education. She currently pursues a PhD in Eng. Lit.

Journalism History

Journalism is the collection, preparation, and delivery of news, commentary, and feature items in print and electronic media such as newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, webcasts, podcasts, social networking sites, and e-mail, as well as radio, motion pictures, and television. With the introduction of radio, television, and the Internet in the 20th century, the term journalism grew to embrace all printed and electronic communication about current events.

The history of journalism encompasses the rise of technology and trade, highlighted by the advent of specialized tools for gathering and transmitting information regularly, which has increased "the variety of news available to us and the speed with which it is disseminated." Before the printing press, word-of-mouth spread news. Merchants, sailors, and travelers conveyed news to the mainland, where pedlars and traveling players spread it. Ancient scribes recorded this info. The printing press eliminated this unreliable news source. Since the 18th century, newspapers (and to a lesser extent, magazines) have been journalists' major medium, followed by radio, TV, and the Internet.


The Acta Diurna was a Roman news newspaper published before 59 BCE. Acta Diurna recorded daily happenings like speeches. The daily newspaper was widely distributed. During the Tang dynasty, court officials released a bao, or "report." This gazette appeared continuously until 1911, when the Qing dynasty ended. In 1609, German cities and Antwerp began publishing regularly. The Weekly Newes appeared in 1622. The Daily Courant appeared in 1702.
First impeded by censorship, taxation, and other constraints, 18th-century newspapers gained the reportorial flexibility and essential purpose they have today. Growing literacy and the arrival of steam- and later electric-powered presses increased newspaper circulation from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands and ultimately to the millions.
In the 17th century, scholarly newspapers like the Tatler and Spectator began publishing opinion-forming essays on current events (1711–12). In the 1830s, affordable mass-circulation periodicals, illustrated magazines, and women's magazines appeared. Large-scale news collecting led to the development of news agencies, which offered international journalistic reporting to newspapers and magazines. The telegraph, radio, and TV increased the pace and timeliness of journalistic activity and provided huge new venues and consumers for their electronically delivered goods. Satellites and later the Internet were utilized to transmit journalistic information long distance in the late 20th century.

The occupation of journalism

The 20th century in journalism was characterized by a rise in professionalism. Four key elements contributed to this trend: (1) the expanding organization of working journalists, (2) journalism-specific education, (3) the expansion of literature on the development, issues, and methods of mass communication, and (4) the growing sense of social responsibility among journalists.
As early as 1883, when England's chartered Institute of Journalists was founded, journalists began to organize. The institute served as a trade union and a professional association, much to the American Newspaper Guild, founded in 1933, and the Fédération Nationale de la Presse Française.

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Ancient Printing Press

Ancient Printing Press

Timeline of journalism

  • 1456. The first Printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg which led to the printing of the Bible and other books.
  • 1600. The First Newspaper appeared
  • 1665. England's Oxford Gazette
  • 1690. First American Newspaper
  • 1721. New England Courant
  • 1791. First Amendment
  • 1830. Founding of the Penny Press
  • 1833. The New York Sun.

Timeline of Philippine journalism

  • 900 BCE. Early colonial signs
  • 1811. Books, Magazines, and Newspapers
  • 1889. The La Solidaridad
  • 1890. The First Telephone Network
  • 1897. Philippine Short Films
  • 1898. The Manila Times
  • 1922. Radio Station in the Philippines
  • 1940. The Philippine comics

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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