While some form of information sharing within smaller groups is recorded in ancient times, these publications did not fully meet the classical criteria for how newspapers are known today. It is so as these were restrictive both in terms of information and the audience.
First known Newspapers:
The Roman Acta Diurna for example, appearing around 59 BC, is the earliest recorded “newspaper”, published on the orders of Julius Caesar, who wanted to inform the public about important social and political happenings, and upcoming events. The bulletins were carved in metal or stone or written on large white boards to be subsequently posted in key public places.
Another example is China government-produced handwritten news-sheets, called Tipao, which were circulated among court officials during the late Han dynasty (second and third centuries AD).
The modern Newspaper:
The invention of printing press in 1447 by Johann Gutenberg ushered in the era of the modern newspaper. It was in the first half of the 17th century that newspapers began to appear as regular publications. It is Europe and the nation of Germany in particular that is credited with publishing the first modern newspaper (Relation in 1605), followed by France (Gazette in 1631), Belgium (Nieuwe Tijdingen in 1616) and England (the London Gazette in 1665 – still published as a court journal). However, all these publications consisted of news items primarily from Europe, and occasionally from America or Asia. Newspaper content also remained largely censored all this while. Sweden became the first country in 1776 to pass a law protecting press freedom, which was later on adopted by most other nations.
Over the years, the newspaper has evolved thanks to the technology advancements. The development of continuous rolls of paper, printing on both sides of the page, telecommunications, satellite transmission, advertisement selling, etc., have ushered in a new era for the newspaper. The advent and universal popularity of the internet has ensured that newspapers, both national and international, are now available on your computer screen much before the tangible one is delivered at your door.