History of journalism

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Title page of the Relation by Johann Carolus (1609), the world's first newspaper

The journalism has each of the latest in the course of its more lasting than 2000 years of history technologies operated. Milestones were the invention of the printing press in the Renaissance , the development of information transmission in the 19th century by the telegraph and the inventions of radio broadcasting (around 1920) and the television (around 1950). In the early 1990s, online journalism was added to the Internet .

The beginnings

The origins of journalism can be found in the Roman Empire , in which from the 1st century BC onwards. Chr. The daily internal newspaper, Acta Diurna was issued. The editors of this first graphic medium were called diurnarii . At the same time, the Commentarius Rerum Novarum, the first weekly newspaper, was published, which already had a similar range of topics to today's newspapers - a mixture of official information, news and entertainment - and which produced around 300 professional writers.

In the Middle Ages , even before the invention of the printing press , economic information was distributed on leaflets at trading centers (especially at ports). They were called avvisi in Italy and newspapers in German-speaking countries .

The printing press accelerated the production of such information sheets, but the breakthrough of journalism was still centuries in coming, which was mainly due to the slow transfer of information by land and sea. This problem could only be satisfactorily solved in the 19th century .

The beginning of modern journalism

The Strasbourg newspaper publisher Johann Carolus had correspondents from cities along important postal routes - such as Cologne, Vienna, Prague, Venice and Rome - send him the latest news (then known as "Avisen") every week. At first he copied the messages with his own hand and sent them to wealthy prospects who had subscribed to this service. Johann Carolus' subscribers were primarily rich merchants who exported their goods abroad and wanted to find out what was happening in Europe. In 1604 Carolus bought three presses from a Strasbourg printer and installed them in his apartment. In that printing house he probably put the first printed edition of his news papers in 1605.

In 1631 the French Théophraste Renaudot published the first newspaper in the modern sense, La Gazette , and applied for a patent on this type of information dissemination. Renaudot is considered a visionary of modern journalism and the inventor of most journalistic forms of representation such as commentary or report , which are still used today in the print media. From the beginning of the 18th century , the first newspapers were published in the USA that were still aimed at the educated elite .

At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century , decisive breakthroughs were achieved in printing technology that made print media significantly cheaper. At the same time the job description of the journalist became more concrete .

At that time, the reporting in most of the media was still very opinion-colored . In 1835 , the New York Herald was the first newspaper to attempt to provide objective and realistic information. This informative journalism quickly found imitators, but it did not become the dominant form until after 1900 . Havas, the first press agency, was also founded in 1835 .

Beginning of the mass media

The first mass media emerged in the USA in the middle of the 19th century. Advances in education , which made it possible for the upper middle class to learn to read and write, and thus made them customers of the newspapers, had a major influence on this development . But the advances in technology - the automation of printing and the optimization of the transmission of information by telegraph and telephone - also contributed to the success of the press, as they made a medium cheaper and cheaper to produce.

At the same time, important economic advances were made, such as the targeted placement of advertisements in newspapers.

By the second half of the century journalism had finally established itself as a means of power in social opinion. It therefore became the object of attempts to spread interests of all kinds - especially political and economic interests. These attempts continue to this day and are one of the main criticisms directed at journalism.

Advent of broadcasting

Moving picture technology was developed at the end of the 19th century. It was after the invention of sound films in the 20s used -Jahren for informational purposes, particularly to weekly news overviews ( newsreels ).

However, the emergence of radio in the 1920s had a greater influence . This new medium changed the way of writing rapidly, as the radio could report on current events in real time and also had access to the emotions of the listener through music. New sub-categories of the journalism profession emerged, such as commentator and moderator , as well as new forms of representation.

In order to survive against the radio, journalists in the print media switched to analyzing and commenting on the news. In the USA , so-called interpretative journalism emerged in special journals called newsmagazines shortly after the First World War . It was no longer important to convey a message, but to put it in its context and make it easier for the reader to understand. Such background information became more and more important, especially after the Great Depression in 1929, as many economically interested people wanted to find out about the causes of this crisis. By 1950 interpretative journalism had achieved the dominant role among the forms of expression in its discipline.

With the TV from the late could 40s the information -years live are transmitted together with images. The users now had the opportunity to attend an event practically from a distance. It had a great influence on political journalism, as politicians could now show themselves live in interviews and panel discussions, which made the reporting and thus also its reception by the population more personal.

These new media ensured specialization within the profession. While television and radio became a place for informative journalism, also because lengthy analyzes and comments are annoying there, the print media specialized in the niches of interpretive and opinion journalism. The way of writing the lyrics became different for each medium. For example, in radio broadcasting, the most important thing is short and concise but complete language, while print media enable longer and more complete treatises because the consumer can decide what to read and when. If the recipient "gets stuck" in the text, he can read it several times. On the other hand, he has to understand a radio report straight away. On television it is important that images and text complement each other. Its character as a combined text, sound and image medium gave journalism particularly creative design options in order to gain access to the viewer's attention. In documentary films, for example, interpretive journalism is interlinked with art : music and visual effects are used to underline the information and thus create a suitable mood.

Opinion journalism experienced a new boom at the same time with the emergence of tabloid journalism , which sought to satisfy the interests of the masses with sensation-hungry, sometimes invented reporting. The best-known example in German-speaking countries is the Bild newspaper .

From the 1950s , the form of investigative journalism experienced its heyday. This involved targeted research by the media on specific, in particular political, topics that had previously remained hidden from the public. The journalists were able to uncover several scandals. The best known case was the so-called Watergate affair in the early 1970s , which led to the resignation of the then President of the USA, Richard Nixon .

In the 1980s , the latest form of presentation of interpretive journalism appeared in the print media and on television, information graphics , which combined text and images and thus made complicated facts understandable. This went hand in hand with the increasing importance of the images in the print media, which thereby made their appearance more attractive. Around 1990, the integration of color images and various design elements became standard in the major newspapers.

Journalism today

Today journalism is in another phase of upheaval. The advent of online journalism in the 1990s caused a revolution within the discipline. This new form of expression was able to combine the advantages of the print media with those of radio and television. On the one hand, current events can be reported in real time; on the other hand, large amounts of text can be published and archived due to the almost unlimited storage space. More and more multimedia information is being incorporated, such as videos or audio documents. The invention of user-generated content also stems from online journalism .

At first glance, the lines between professional journalism and the activity of amateurs become blurred. Many online media - and also the websites of traditional media - incorporate weblogs or wiki elements into their offers, while others have their texts commented on by their readers or have discussion forums . A large amount of content is written by the readers themselves. Here, amateur reporters in mainstream media of citizen journalists to distinguish with their own media formats.

With the advent of user-generated content, there was a renaissance in opinion journalism , as every Internet user could comment on any topic via website or blog at no extra cost. In many online magazines you can find a mixture of opinion journalism and interpretive journalism , since it is tempting with such publications to present your own point of view. This development is viewed with concern by advocates of journalism as a refuge for objective reporting. It is feared that journalism will become polemic (see also gonzo journalism ), while research and the presentation of different points of view next to each other threatens to take a back seat.

The variety of offers has the disadvantage that the information is more confusing and attention is often drawn to banalities. The advent of online journalism is leading to an increasing "computerization" of society . At the same time, communication in society is increasing.

Siegfried Weischenberg : "Professional journalism is on the decline. Worse still: It is losing its identity in the process of the digital revolution and is well on its way to abolishing itself through self-commercialization."

See also


Web links