Introduction to Newspapers

You are currently in the module on "Newspapers" in a larger tutorial. Each research tutorial includes modules of topics related to the overall tutorial learning objectives. Please go through all the pages in this module by clicking on the “Next” button on the bottom of the page in order to progress. If you would like to track your progress, be sure to log in with your UNCG credentials at the top right of the module. Each module includes Quick Checks on every page. These Quick Checks do not produce a certificate; they are optional and do not track your progress. Certificates are created by completing a whole tutorial, so be sure to complete all the modules within a tutorial in order to generate a certificate. You can also take a screenshot of your progress page. 

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Time needed to complete this module: 10 minutes

Learning Objectives:

As a result of completing this module, students will…

  • Understand the purpose and basic history of newspapers.
  • Access newspapers held by UNCG that may be relevant to their research.
  • Compare international, national, and local newspapers.

Newspapers are an important and unique type of source for conducting research. Nearly every country in the world has multiple newspapers at the international, national, and local levels. You can see listings of newspapers from each country using the Newspaper Map website.

With the invention of the rapid printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century, the spread of information throughout the world was greatly accelerated. If you’re interested in learning more about the printing press and its impact on literacy in Europe, you can watch the clip below from the YouTube series “Crash Course.” It’s important to note that Gutenberg’s press was not the first mass press in the world, but it was (at that time) the most efficient and fast.

Please watch this video, which starts 33 seconds in, and you can stop watching at 2:51. 

But how does this relate to newspapers? Once the rapid printing press was in common use, books weren’t the only publications being produced! Early versions of “newspapers” were in use as early as 1609 in Germany. These were pages of local news and happenings that were mass produced and distributed to people in the area. The first daily newspaper was produced in London starting in 1702 (The Daily Courant). (Source: The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia).

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