ewspapers date back to the Roman Empire around 59 BC. It was the time when Rome was the hub of the western world. Daily public records called Acta Diurna were carved hard on stone or other surfaces by the government in the Roman Forum. In the first two decades of the 17th century movable type printed papers appeared in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The first printed newspaper was published in 17th century Europe by Johann Carolus which was named ‘Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien’ Gradually broadsheets in social news were published in Japan in the Tokugawa period. The first weekly publication was the 1666 London Gazette. It was not until 1771 that Parliament formally granted the right to report to the journalists. The Thirty Years War set back emerging newspapers in Germany and censorship in various forms too was prevalent throughout Europe. Sweden was the first nation which guaranteed freedom of the press in 1766. In the 19th century circulation of newspapers in thousands became common. This was made possible by increased literacy and technological involvement. The first newspaper in India was first published on 29th January 1780 by James Augustus Hickey under the British Raj called the Bengal Gazette or Hickey’s Gazette.
During British rule, Indian newspapers participated immensely in the freedom struggle of India. The cost of newspapers also fell significantly in this century . Since then we are witnessing huge growth of the same. And then the newspapers faced competition from different media vehicles with the radio and television in the 1920’s and 1950’s respectively. The rapid rise of digital media added to the devastating effects on newspapers worldwide.Infact digital age has posed a serious threat to the print industry than TV and radio could ever do. This 400 year old industry is facing its toughest time in history. The 57th annual World Newspaper Congress, held in Istanbul, reported circulation increases in only 35 of 208 countries studied. The significant increase in numbers came from the developing countries, notably China.It is estimated that amongst the five billion newspaper readers in the world three billion prefer to read print ones.It provides one with a screen break for some time.With this we cant predict the future of newspapers but perhaps both can coexist.