In a time when so many of us focus our attentions on the various forms of digital media, reading our news online, watching the latest sporting events through Internet streams and discussing them using social networks, it’s vital that we don’t forget where we’ve come from. The print media started it all with journalists sourcing and producing the news for us to read in our newspapers on a daily basis.
Many currently believe that the print media is dying, that people will continue to get their news through digital platforms such as newspaper websites or apps for smartphones and tablet computers where we can subscribe to daily or weekly publications as opposed to the paper-based versions. However, there are plenty who still believe that the print media is going strong and will continue to do so, even if many are downsizing their staff and moving from daily to weekly publications.
Nobody could have seen how the print media industry would develop from when Johannes Gutenberg built his first printing press way back on 1450. Since then we’ve moved on from the huge machine capable of transferring images from a metal plate to paper using the pressure of the machine and ink, to giant printers capable of churning out hundreds, even thousands of publications each day using nano ink so sharp that the content seems to jump off the page at you.
Up until the pesky Internet (where you’re reading this article of course) got involved in the mid 1990s, the press had enjoyed a sustained period of success with publications flourishing and new papers and magazines appearing on the shelves of newsagents on an almost weekly basis. The Daily Register – or The Times as we know it today – was first published in the UK on 1st January 1785 and was renamed three years later and still lives on strongly today in both print and digital formats.
The radio and television news weren’t seen as real competition with both providing only brief coverage of major events that papers could cover in much greater depth. People would wake up each morning and find their daily paper (or papers), waiting in their postbox or making the short walk to the local shop to get the day’s news to read over breakfast before heading off to work.
Today, we have what is known as the ‘new media’ whereby people are utilizing the various digital platforms to help them to obtain and share the news. By using the Internet and their own personal web pages, people can discuss the latest events on their own blogs, share their opinions using social networks and record it using static or moving images – sharing the live images of what they capture with the world.