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October 11, 2007

Media Lab: A History of News I-9

A History of News


This book will talk about the development of American journalism.

Society is drowning in news, but out understanding of it all is incomplete.

We are spending too much time on certain, big hit, stories.

News is what is on societies mind.

Part One: Spoken News

Chapter One

Coffee houses used as a source of news for Englishmen (seems to me like these men gossiped a lot)

How do people respond to missing news, or without a days worth of gossip?

Newspapers importance: shows people in depth forms of political and social issues.

“Blogs took journalism by surprise.” (how ironic)

Chapter Two

“Newspapers have not yet taken a firm hold, even in the large towns; but news travels very fast in the ordinary way…” -Max and Bertha Ferras

Wireless Telegraphy - people could use different noises to communicate news.

Domestication of horses changed the way news was able to travel.

Story of Pheidippes running from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of the Greece war victory - he died of exhaustion after his news report from the 25 mile run.

Again with the Newsworthyness topic

Chapter Three

“Narrowcasting” - “A basic rule of communication: The more outlets available of any particular medium in any one area the more narrow the audience they seek out.”

Chapter talks about the decline of spoken news, I really don’t think people every stopped talking about current events or just stopped gossiping, so I don’t agree with this section.

Part Two: Written News

Chapter Four

Writing changed how many Americans thought, and TV followed in its path. But some think it has made us more violent, less social or less serious and more materialistic.

“The ability to speak is part of our genetic inheritance; the ability to write is not.” NOT TRUE!!!! I don’t agree at all. It’s different for everyone. Bad stereotype.

Chapter Five

“Societies depend for their unity and coherence on a sense of group identity…News provides the requisite set of shared thoughts.”

51 B.C. vs. 2007 = Cicero thinks 2,00 years ago he was sent too much “tittle-tattle” but now it is considered too much “junk” on TV, in magazines, and in our mailboxes.

Part Three: Printed News

Chapter Six

People that really first came to America told of this news probably by spoken word so they did not receive the “credit” for the discovery.

Handwritten letters were a way to send news back and forth to different countries.

Printing press began to develop around 1475

Books become a new technology and the beginning of the information age.

Chapter Seven

The beginning of “published gossip.” - 1508

Celebrity becomes newsworthy before average people.

Crimes begin to be published in papers.

Early newspapers turn to sensationalism, much like todays.

Chapter Eight

“Any life will seem dramatic if you omit mention of most of it.” -Ann Beattie

Kinds of news: the extraordinary, the conventional, and the unexpected.

The Extraordinary: “Whether the subject is love, birth, weather, crime, journalists’ tastes inevitably run toward the unnatural, the extraordinary.”

The Conventional: “The journalist’s work, in this sense, is to squeeze raw reality into familiar, easy to comprehend themes.”

The Unexpected: “When we choose to enter the world of breaking news, we enter a fun house.”

Part Four: Newspapers

Chapter Nine

A newspaper is published regularly and frequently, variety of different stories in each issue, displays a consistent and recognizable title or format.

What is a Gazette? -probably the name of a Venetian coin, called this because of the price some of the first newspapers cost. (Also Russian word for newspaper is Gazette)

World’s first newspaper could be considered as handwritten newssheets that were produced weekly in Venice as early as 1566.

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