Print and television sources still dominate
March 24, 2014
by Mark Ollig

Due in large part to the Internet, we are finding ourselves being exposed to greater amounts of news and information.

Throughout the day, countless news sources are broadcasting their stories to the public using a variety of mediums.

These sources utilize websites, with live-streaming news feeds, online citizen reporters, videocasters, podcasters, and bloggers.

There are also social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, providing news content, as well.

And, of course, information originates from 24-hour cable news networks.

It seems just about everyone in the world is typing out their individual opinions concerning the news of the day; as they can be seen flooding the comments sections of most mainstream websites and social media networks.

In a seemingly by-gone era, before this torrent of news reporting and commenting was augmented by the Internet, life was a bit different.

Each new day found most folks learning of the overnight news developments while reading their traditional print media; namely, the morning newspaper.

This newspaper was delivered early each morning to their front door, by the town’s local newspaper carrier.

Throughout the working day, people stayed up-to-date with current news events by listening to the top-of-the-hour radio broadcasts, or by catching a quick news update on a television set during lunch breaks.

When they came home from work, the evening paper would be waiting for them.

As a youngster, I recall two separate Minneapolis newspapers being printed each day. There was an early morning and late afternoon edition. Each contained state, national, and world news.

Of course, most small towns publish their own newspaper, serving the people who live and work there.

These papers provide the local news and goings-on in the community, and are usually printed once a week.

Going back years before the Internet, television, and even radio, newspapers were the main source of our news.

The oldest continuously-published newspaper I could find still being printed is located in Britain.

It was originally called The Oxford Gazette. It first appeared in November 1665; a few months later, it was renamed The London Gazette.

Its beginnings came about in order for it to meet “the need for authoritative news.”

The London Gazette obtained news outside of Britain during peace time via its foreign correspondents, and from British generals during times of war.

Its website is located at http://www.london-gazette.co.uk.

The oldest continuously-published newspaper in the US is The Hartford Courant. It began publishing Oct. 29, 1764.

More information about the history of The Hartford Courant can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/bytes-courant.

The honor for the first American newspaper goes to a Boston publication published by Benjamin Harris, called “Publick Occurrences.” It was printed in 1690.

It was four pages long, and had just one issue. Its stated purpose was to “report the news accurately and fairly.”

You can learn more about America’s first newspaper at http://tinyurl.com/bytes-news1.

By the end of the 18th century, some 235 newspapers were operating in the US.

The first commercial radio station in the US began broadcasting in 1920 in Pittsburgh, using the call letters KDKA.

On Nov. 2, 1920, KDKA transmitted over-the-air, the results of the Nov. 2, 1920 US presidential election.

It was broadcast to the approximately 1,000 people who had earlier learned of the KDKA’s existence, and had gone out and obtained or built their own radio receivers.

Leo Rosenberg was radio’s first announcer.

He voiced the broadcast from KDKA of Warren G. Harding becoming the 29th president of the US.

Today’s tech-savvy, social-media generation is getting a lot of their news online; however, a recent study finds print and television as still being the source mostly used by people for getting their news.

Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press, published the study.

It said the majority of Americans “across generations now combine a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week.”

Of those asked in the study how they obtained their news, 24 percent said television, desk or laptop computers. Cellphones came in at 12 percent, and mobile tablet computing devices polled at 4 percent.

The study reported 45 percent of Americans saying they had no favorite device or technology for getting their news.

I still feel traditional media, such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, and books, continue to be an important source of news and information – even in this age of digital access to these sources over the Internet.

One of the first things I do each workday morning (while the eggs are cooking on the stove), is to turn on my MacBook computer, jump on the Internet, and visit a few news websites for a quick check of what occurred overnight, and to learn of any late-breaking bulletins.

On weekends, along with my morning cup of coffee, I enjoy spending time reading through the printed newspaper.

Being on the Internet each day, I will, of course, check on those up-to-the-minute news reports.

And yes, yours truly regularly visits his hometown’s online digital newspaper, and subscribes to its print edition, too.

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