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Hannoversches Tageblatt, title page, issue of October 24, 1865
Pile of newspapers

The word newspaper was originally used to describe any news item , but its meaning changed over the course of the 18th century . Today it is understood as a periodically published print product with current and universal content. This consists of several texts that are self-contained in terms of content, which are called newspaper articles and various journalistic stylistic devices are used in their drafting .

As Internet or online newspaper are online publications with newspapers but also magazines called -character.


A newspaper is defined in a very general way as a printed work with a moderate number of pages that appears publicly at periodic intervals, usually daily or weekly. For the generic term newspaper, it is irrelevant whether the reader has to pay for it or whether he receives the product free of charge. This is why the newspaper category also includes free newspapers or advertising papers distributed free of charge . Four criteria should be given when speaking of a newspaper: topicality (timely reporting), periodicity (regular publication), publicity (publicly accessible to all readers) and universality (diversity of content).

The word newspaper came up around 1300 as zīdunge , which goes back to the Middle Low German and Middle Dutch term tīdinge : message , that is news about Danmessage.

In contrast to the magazine , the newspaper is a press organ that is committed to being up-to-date and is usually divided into several content-related categories such as politics, local issues, business, sports or features , which are created by independent departments . A department always works on a certain topic, a certain rubric, for which it is responsible and independent of the other departments - whereby the boundaries are increasingly leveled in favor of the concept of an integrated editorial department, task-specific and cross-competency ( news desk ) . Often, the individual subject areas are divided among the editors within a department , depending on their qualifications and knowledge.

The editorial department is the journalistic department in a newspaper or magazine publisher . In or for an editorial office, editors, generalists, freelance journalists and volunteers write, and in some cases external experts.


Novellants sent messages on individual sheets that were collected for subscribers. These Fugger newspapers , archived in the Austrian National Library , were created around 1589 and were published by Katrin Keller et al. digitized and researched at the University of Vienna .

The history of the newspaper as a regular medium is closely interwoven with the early modern period . The first printed news paper worthy of the name of a newspaper in the modern sense was the relation . It was founded by Johann Carolus and appeared once a week in Strasbourg in Alsace from the second or third week of September 1605 .

The world's first daily newspaper came out in Leipzig in 1650 . The printer Timotheus Ritzsch published the Incoming Newspapers for the first time in July 1650 . These appeared six days a week. The Wiener Diarium and thus the Wiener Zeitung appeared for the first time in 1703 . This makes it the oldest daily newspaper in the world that is still published.

The newspaper reached its peak in the first half of the 20th century . Currently (as of October 2011) there are 390 newspapers in Germany (369 daily and 21 weekly newspapers) that are registered with the IVW .

Newspapers in the editorial office of the newspaper Die Welt in Berlin

Newspapers consist of the so-called editorial part , which is the responsibility of the editorial staff and presents the content with journalistic stylistic devices, and the advertising part . The individual segments of a (extensive) newspaper are called books (Swiss: frets ). They usually also structure the departments (cf. “Sports section”, “Business section” etc.).

Advertisements are initially responsible for their content by the person who orders them, i.e. H. the ad acceptance and paid for their appearance. The publisher can reject advertisements; there is freedom of contract . Once the advertisement has been printed, the publisher is responsible for the content of the advertisement; therefore a prior check is necessary. According to the case law, however, the publisher is sometimes only liable for “serious and obvious legal violations”, e.g. B. in competition law , because he cannot be expected to conduct a comprehensive legal review of all advertisements here. But it is different z. B. in the case of copyright infringements , whereby the publisher is expected to have an obligation to check legality (which the publisher is often unable to comply with in practice). The advertising prices are based primarily on the circulation of the newspaper, the placement, the environment and the size of the advertisement.

Usage research

There are various tools available for exploring reader behavior, satisfaction and wishes. Classic feedback instruments are letters to the editor and reader phones. However, they are only used by certain types of readers. The number of copies sold can also be evaluated for user research. More extensive instruments are copy tests , combined for example with questioning or technical aids such as gaze history recording and reader scan .

The newspaper market worldwide

At the turn of the millennium, the number of Internet users worldwide exceeded the number of newspaper buyers (2005: 439 million according to data from the World Association of Newspapers )

According to the Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV), the German daily newspaper market was the largest market in Western Europe with a circulation of 21.67 million copies in the first quarter of 2005 . According to this, 27.376 million daily, weekly and Sunday newspapers were sold per publication day during this period ; of which around 18 million copies (65%) were sold by subscription .

According to the World Press Trends 2007 study by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) on the global newspaper market (232 countries), 515 million people bought daily newspapers. The Chinese newspaper market was the largest (98.7 million copies), followed by India (88.9 million copies), Japan (69.1 million copies), the USA (52.3 million copies) and Germany ( 22.1 million copies). Compared to the previous year this is an increase of 2.3 percent and compared to 2002 by 9.48%. In China, the increase over the previous year and 2002 was +2.22% and +15.53%, in India +12.93% and +53.63%, in Japan -0.83% and −2, 42%, in the USA −1.9% and −5.18% and in Germany −2.1% and −9.35%. In addition, there are 40.7 million copies of free daily newspapers, an increase of 55% over the previous year and 241% over 2002. More than half of these appear in Europe. The advertising revenue of newspapers in general rose by 3.77% compared to the previous year and 15.77% compared to 2002. According to Timothy Balding, managing director of WAN, the readership is growing in both the print and online areas, the reach can be increased by using different Distribution channels are increasing and the industry is not in a downturn.

The long-term study of media use by ARD / ZDF in spring 2005 showed that in the previous year, with a total use of daily media of 600 minutes per day, the daily newspapers were already considerably behind the Internet (44 minutes) with 28 minutes (2000: 30 to only 13 Minutes of internet). In 2012 the trend continued from 23 minutes (daily newspaper) to 83 minutes (Internet). According to the BDZV, at the time of the surveys the newspapers still had a clear credibility advantage, not only over web publications. The credibility of the media genres was assessed as follows after an investigation, which, however, dates back to 2006:

Newspaper death and proposals against it

The following figures are available from the USA, for example, on the international so-called newspaper death in connection with the Internet and the advertising crisis : from 2006 to 2008, the turnover of the publishing houses fell by 23%, the number of permanent journalists by 10%. For the first time, citizens did more research on the Internet.

It is discussed whether and, if so, how this should be counteracted. One demand is a “Newspaper Revitalization Act”, according to which publishers should be treated like educational institutions with the status of non-profit organizations . Models such as foundations , donation financing , a status under public law that should enable fee-financed journalism, cooperative shares similar to the taz or an extended culture flat rate are also discussed .

See also: newspaper dieback

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Georg Löwisch: The printed word in digital times: How the newspaper lives . In: The daily newspaper: taz . September 21, 2018, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed September 27, 2018]).
  2. News older than assumed on, October 31, 2016, accessed on October 31, 2016.
  3. Martin Welke: Can I print something like that? Hardly invented, already censored: The story of the world's first newspaper , In: Die Zeit, December 27, 2013, p. 17.
  4. IVW: Newsletter , October 2011.
  5. BDVZ: German newspaper market is the largest in Western Europe. In: May 18, 2005, accessed October 23, 2008 .
  6. Trends in the world press: newspaper circulation and advertising revenues are on the rise worldwide. World Association of Newspapers , 2006, archived from the original on October 17, 2007 ; Retrieved April 10, 2010 .
  7. Christa-Maria Ridder and Bernhard Engel: Mass communication 2005: Images and functions of the mass media in comparison . In: Media Perspektiven . No. 9 , 2005 ( [PDF; 646 kB ; retrieved on October 23, 2008] Results of the 9th wave of the ARD / ZDF long-term study on media use and evaluation).
  8. By Birgit van Eimeren and Beate Frees: Results of the ARD / ZDF online study 2012: 76 percent of Germans online - new usage situations through mobile devices ( Memento from October 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.1 MB), accessed on April 10, 2013.
  9. ^ Karl-Rudolf Korte : Media in everyday life . Ed .: University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute for Political Science, Research Group Government. July 3, 2006, chap. 3 ( ( memento from November 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 1.4 MB ; accessed on October 23, 2008] Various charts and statistics). Media in everyday life ( memento of the original dated November 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. Suggestions against newspaper dying: journalist 6/2009, pp. 53ff., 1/2010
  11. ↑ on this: Heribert Prantl ( memento of August 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 50 kB), at, ProPublica Foundation USA , MMD study 2009 "Limited journalism: What influences the development of quality journalism" , at mediendisput .de


  • Hans Bohrmann (Ed.): Newspaper dictionary. Non-fiction dictionary for library use of newspapers . German Library Institute, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87068-463-1 .
  • Christoph Bauer: Daily newspapers in the context of the Internet . 1st edition. Deutscher Universitätsverlag, 2005, ISBN 3-8350-0130-2 .
  • Stefan Hartwig: German-language media abroad. Foreign language media in Germany . 2003, ISBN 3-8258-5419-1 .
  • Jürgen Heinrich: media system, newspaper, magazine, advertising paper . In: Media Economics . tape 1 , 2001, ISBN 3-531-32636-8 .
  • Jan Hillgärtner: The emergence of the periodical press. Organization and design of the first newspapers in Germany and the Netherlands (1605–1620) . 2013, ISBN 978-3-940338-30-3 ( online [PDF]).
  • Petrakap: Familiarity and habit: the attachment to the daily newspaper. An unsubscribe study . Klartext, Essen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8375-0526-9 .
  • Michael Meissner: Newspaper design. Typography, typesetting and printing, layout and make-up . 3. Edition. Paperback, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-430-20032-6 .
  • Holger Nohr: From newspaper publisher to news industry: changing value chains and business models . 1st edition. Logos, 2011, ISBN 978-3-8325-2857-7 .
  • Stefan Schulz: Copy deadline: the time after the newspaper . Munich: Hanser, 2016. ISBN 3-446-25070-0 .
  • Volker Schulze : The newspaper. A media studies guide . 3. Edition. Hahner Verlagsgesellschaft, ISBN 3-89294-311-7 .
  • Christof Seeger (Ed.): Expertise compact - Press publishers: Volume 1; Economic development, design concepts and product innovations for daily newspapers . 1st edition. Christiani, 2010, ISBN 3-86522-558-6 .
  • Christof Seeger (Ed.): Expertise compact - press publishers, Volume 2: Technical implementation of modern newspaper printing concepts . 1st edition. Christiani, 2010, ISBN 3-86522-559-4 .
  • Christof Seeger (Ed.): Expertise compact - press publishers: Volume 3: Social media and mobile Internet - changes in the business model of newspaper publishers . 1st edition. Christiani, 2011, ISBN 3-86522-645-0 .
  • ZMG Zeitungs Marketing Gesellschaft (Ed.), Urszula Dolder (Author): Newspaper Distribution Atlas 2017/18 - Distribution areas and distribution analytical data of the daily newspapers . Frankfurt 2016, ISBN 978-3-922537-58-8

Web links

Commons : Newspapers  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Newspaper  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Newspaper  - sources and full texts