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Friday, January 13, 2017

Journalism 02 - Key Events in history of Journalism

 Let us look at the history of newspapers through key/landmark events. I have stated some comments in brackets [ ], whenever I wanted to signal something. This is partial list as of now. Please make suggestions and corrections. I will be happy to edit/add modify and update this list.

131 BCE
The Acta Diurna ("Daily Events") was the first news type of publication. The first form of Acta appeared around 131 BCE. It is more of a Gazette of daily events rather than a newspaper.
Gutenberg Printing press
First advertisement in English paper Mercurius Britannicus about publication of a book
England establishes licensing requirements for press by Licensing Act 1662. It is subsequently protested by John Milton.
First classified ad for runaway servant published in Mercurius Britannicus
The Oxford Gazette is published (Now the London gazette)
House of Commons allows Licensing Act to lapse after campaigning by John Locke.
Mercantile newspapers emerged mainly to support Marine insurance companies and owners and investors of ships about loss of ships, etc.
The first US newspaper publishes paid advertisement, an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, estate, is published in the Boston News-Letter. Paid advertising becomes mainstream.
USA passes the first amendment protecting the freedom of speech and freedom of press.
In New York, The Sun began publication September 3, 1833, as a morning newspaper edited by Benjamin Day with the slogan "It Shines for All". This was a penny press newspaper.
The Sun first became famous for its central role in the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, a fabricated story of life and civilization on the moon which the paper falsely attributed to British astronomer John Herschel and never retracted. [Begining of fake news]
Commercial telegraphs are introduced.
Steam powered cylindrical press was introduced with ability to print about 8000 pages per hour.
On April 13, 1844, The Sun published as factual a story by Edgar Allan Poe now known as "The Balloon-Hoax", retracted two days after publication. The story told of an imagined Atlantic crossing by hot-air balloon.
The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange. He used telegraph, Reuters used pigeons to communicate between Aachen and Brussels as telegraph connectivity was not complete.
American Civil War pushed the use to Telegraphs to communicate news with newsroom for printing. Cutting telegraph wires was common counter-strategy. As a response, reporters used inverted-pyramid reporting style popular even today. Embeded reporters collected facts sold to both sides of Civil war. Hence facts were necessarily objective and unbiased. (Good for business). [Note beginning of embedded journalist but note their business models keeping them unbiased]
1870s -
As overland telegraph and undersea cable facilities developed, Reuters expanded beyond Europe to the Far East in 1872 and South America in 1874.
First war of readership - Start of yellow journalism (over exaggerations, lies, fake news etc.) While Pulitzer prize is given to good quality research, Pulitzer himself published exaggerations albeit slight. Though in comparison to his competitor William Hearst, Pulitzer was quite mild. Both together are part of the yellow journalism era.
Movies come on the scene. Mostly silent films in black and white but a new medium is created.
Muckraking magazines—notably McClure's of publisher S. S. McClure—took on corporate monopolies and political machines while trying to raise public awareness and anger at urban poverty, unsafe working conditions, prostitution, and child labour.
Tabloid pioneer, Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe an early pioneer of tabloid journalism. He bought several failing newspapers and made them into an enormously profitable chain, primarily by appealing to popular taste. He began with The Evening News in 1894, and then merged two Edinburgh papers to form the Edinburgh Daily Record. That same year he fitted out an expedition to Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic with the aim of making attempts on the North Pole.
The first comic strip appears in Pulitzer's paper called the Yellow Kid. Stunt Journalism was used to increase readership.  [Note the shift from news to entertainment in a battle for readership]
Marconi patents wireless telegraphy machine precursor to the modern radio which became operational a few years later. By 1900 most navies and armies were using this technology for coordination.
On 4 May 1896, Alfred Harmsworth began publishing the Daily Mail in London, which was a hit, holding the world record for daily circulation until Harmsworth's death; taglines of The Daily Mail included "the busy man's daily journal" and "the penny newspaper for one halfpenny". [Birth of tabloid]
Possibly, sensational news reporting may have pushed the US deployment of USS Maine which was sunk triggering the war. [First war caused by fake news?]
"The Jungle" is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of meat packing industries in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialised cities. The book was based on proper investigations and led to laws relating to food and drugs.
On Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden used a synchronous rotary-spark transmitter for the first radio program broadcast, from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible.[38] This was, for all intents and purposes, the first transmission of what is now known as amplitude modulation or AM radio.
Charles Herrold started broadcasting in California in 1909 and was carrying audio by the next year. (Herrold's station eventually became KCBS).
Titanic sank but after hitting iceberg radioed SOS. Soon there was regulations about using radio.
In 1920 wireless broadcasts for entertainment began in the UK from the Marconi Research Centre 2MT at Writtle near Chelmsford, England. A famous broadcast from Marconi's New Street Works factory in Chelmsford was made by the famous soprano Dame Nellie Melba on 15 June 1920, where she sang two arias and her famous trill. She was the first artist of international renown to participate in direct radio broadcasts.
The first radio news program was broadcast August 31, 1920 by station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan, which survives today as all-news format station WWJ under ownership of the CBS network.
BBC is formed
US national radio networks are established.
The Queen's Messenger, a one-act play broadcast on September 11, 1928, was the world's first live drama on television.
Great Depression wrecks havoc and FDR uses radio for fire-side chats. Great Depression also inflicts the first assault on newspaper industry.
During the March 1938 Anschluss, in which Adolf Hitler engineered the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. Edward R. Murrow immediately sent William Shirer, his reporter on the ground, to London, where Shirer delivered an uncensored, eyewitness account of the Anschluss. Ed Murrow became the first star - on radio and then on TV.
Lowell Thomas hosted the first-ever news broadcast on television in 1940.
Arthur (Usher) Fellig under the pseudonym Weegee, kickstarted what is today called papparazi journalism.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953 is said to have been watched by more people on television than heard it on "the wireless". It became the first live outdoor event telecast. Famously, the camera stopped working just as the queen's parade was about to turn onto the road. The cameraman kicked it and it started working resulting in a new term called "technical tap" joined the troubleshooting lexicon.
JFK Assasination brought Television into focus. Murdocuh also converted the Sun from a broadsheet to tabloid in 1969.
The Sun, bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1969, kickstarts the era of Page 3. Page 3, the phrase originates with the publication of a large photograph of a topless, bare-breasted female glamour model which was usually published on the print edition's third page. The feature first appeared in the newspaper on 17 November 1970 and on the official Page 3. 
Nixon tapes scandal brings to fore some of the journalism's best-known people - Bob Woordward, Carl Bernstein, Deep Throat.
Galella v. Onassis, Jacquline Kennedy Onassis obtained a restraining order to keep Galella 150 feet (46 m) away from her and her children. [Papparazi photography/journalism leads to legal impact].
David Frost interviews Nixon and the interviews are aired on television to unprecedented audience. The "Questioning of powerful" by Frost of Nixon by confronting him with conversations and pushing him to explain have set journalistic standard.
Launch of Cable News  dedicated channel for news.
Bloomberg is launched. Bloomberg has turned financial reporting into profitable business model using comprehensive offering through its terminal.
USA Today is launched with colour photos, colour paper, graphics and stylish layouts we know today.
In 1986, Murdoch introduced electronic production processes to his newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States. This is more on newspaper production side not on journalism side. But Newspaper firms get used to fire people and cut cost theory of business management.
On January 29, 1988, USA Today published the largest edition in its history, a 78-page weekend edition featuring a section previewing Super Bowl XXII; the edition included 44.38 pages of advertising and sold 2,114,055 copies, setting a single-day circulation record for an American newspaper (a record that the paper would beat nearly nine months later on September 2, when its Labor Day weekend edition sold 2,257,734 copies).
Sky News launches in Europe,
Adobe releases Photoshop one of the most important tools in era of Papparazi.
Gulf War catapaults cable news into mainstream
Yahoo launches its web portal - a catalogue of links. Alongwith subgroup of news.
O. J. Simpson trial begins
1995 is launched as a website for classifieds.
Drudge Report was launched as a gossip site on Hollywood and Washington. Andrew Brietbart assisted Matt Drudge the founder. Brietbart also launched his own site which gained notoreity during 2016 election.
Fox News launches in US using conservative bias and slick reporting to gain viewership.
Google's initial launch.
Lady Diana is killed in an accident, allegedly trying to avoid papparazi. Lady Diana was the world's most photographed woman by that time and hounded by the papparazi.
Yahoo News launches most emailed page of the day. Usually news item shared on the internet. This increases reach of the publishers.
Google launches Google News
Facebook is launched restricted to Harvard alum.
LA Times photographer manipulates war images to improve composition
Youtube is created sold an year later to Google.
Celebrity gossip news site TMZ is launched.
Twitter is launched.
Facebook goes global
Kim Kardashian sex tape hits the internet. The Kardashians use this to construct an entertainment business around this. The show itself dovetails with tabloid demand leading to wider coverage in the news media. The difference between the "reality TV" and Kardashians is the amount of coverage it takes up on journalism time. There is often interest in happenings of Big Brother and Survivor but these items do not get covered in news. Kardashian show uses "news" as a tool of their entertainment show.
Christian Science Monitor stops paper edition
Twitter starts setting records for no. of tweets during events. For example, a record was set during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after Japan scored against Cameroon on June 14.
On July 19, 2010, Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign from her position as Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture after blogger Andrew Breitbart posted a selectively-edited video of Sherrod's address to a March 2010 NAACP event onto his website. Reacting to these video excerpts, the NAACP condemned her remarks and U.S. government officials called on her to resign. However, upon review of the complete unedited video in full context, the NAACP, White House officials, and Tom Vilsack, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, apologised for the firing, and Sherrod was offered a new position with the USDA.
News International phone-hacking scandal is a controversy involving the defunct News of the World and other British newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation. Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police bribery and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of stories
Periscope is launched for video sharing by twitter.
The lack of proper debate and malicious campaigning attributed to fake news. Facebook, Fox News contributed to spreading of these fake news stories. President Obama said "If I was only watching Fox News even I would not vote for me."

Using inputs from Mark Grabowski Slideshare presentation, Wikipedia and Google for dates.
Book: The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising By John McDonough, Karen Egolf

As an investor, I find learning the history of any industry is very crucial. You never know what you will get to know. When I started out I was dumbfounded by one analyst who seemed to know so much history about oil and petroleum. I was pointed to a book called "The Prize", then there was Chaos which told about the development of Chaos Theory. As investors, we understand how business model changed how entrepreneurs made the decisions they did. So when we want to develop a business model for Journalism, we should know what transpired.

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