Which was the world’s first newspaper? When did it begin?

The newspaper in its modern form is usually regarded as beginning in 1566, when the government of Venice, Italy, issued written news-sheets and exhibited them in the streets. Anyone was allowed to read them on payment of a small coin called Gazetta. On this account the news-sheets were called gazettes, and they became so popular that they were printed. Soon after the date mentioned, gazettes were issued in most of the big cities of Europe. The first English newspaper was the weekly news, published in London in 1622. But in this paper and its successors down to 1641 only foreign news was printed.

While newspapers in the modern sense are thus less than four centuries old, something corresponding to the newspaper was found in the ancient world. Accounts of the doings of the imperial armies of Rome were sent to generals in command in all parts of the empire. These Acta Diurna, or Daily Doings as they were called, were communicated by the generals to their officers. Farther back still, items of news, generally about kings or battles, were carved in stone in prominent places in Babylonian and Assyrian cities. These may almost be regarded as the origin of the news paper as a record of events. Probably the oldest newspaper in this sense is the Siloam Inscription, discovered in 1880 in the rocky aqueduct of the Pool of Siloam at the southeast end of Jerusalem. The characters are those of an early form of the alphabet used by the Phoenicians, Hebrews and Moabites. The language is Biblical Hebrew. The inscription is of the period of the Hebrew monarchy. It dates back to at least 700 B.C., and is one of the oldest Hebrew inscriptions known. It may be called the Jewish newspaper of Isaiah’s time, and perhaps even of Solomon’s time.

More reading:
Newspaper (Wikipedia)

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