Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Gazettes and bulletins

In Ancient Rome, Acta Diurna, or government announcement bulletins, were produced. They were carved in metal or stone and posted in public places.

In China, early government-produced news sheets, called tipao, circulated among court officials during the late Han dynasty (second and third centuries AD). Between 713 and 734, the Kaiyuan Za Bao ("Bulletin of the Court") of the Chinese Tang Dynasty published government news; it was handwritten on silk and read by government officials. In 1582, there was the first reference to privately published newssheets in Beijing, during the late Ming Dynasty.

In Early modern Europe the increased cross-border interaction created a rising need for information which was met by concise handwritten newssheets, called avvisi. In 1556, the government of Venice first published the monthly Notizie scritte, which cost one gazetta, a small coin. These avvisi were handwritten newsletters and used to convey political, military, and economic news quickly and efficiently to Italian cities (1500–1700) — sharing some characteristics of newspapers though usually not considered true newspapers.

However, none of these publications fully met the classical criteria for proper newspapers, as they were typically not intended for the general public and restricted to a certain range of topics.

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