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Perusing a newspaper over a cup of coffee is an activity most of us are familiar with and even take for granted. While the first official newspaper can be traced back to 59 BC in Rome, convenient access to printed current events is something we can regularly enjoy thanks to the invention of the printing press by German inventor Johannes Gutenberg in the (relatively) more modern 15th century. The first American newspaper called Publick Occurrences was printed in 1690, but the industry really began to rapidly change after 1967 when computers became part of the publishing process.
Ironically, it is this technological advancement that is directly to blame for the decline of the newspaper industry itself. The rapid rise of the internet and web-based news alternatives coupled with worldwide recessions have negatively affected the newspaper publishing industry, and it is now estimated that the United States has less newspapers in circulation and less newspaper subscribers than it did in the 1950s. Many previously thriving papers have been forced to shrink the size and frequency of their publications to match decreased demand, and falling subscription and advertising revenues in the last decades have forced the buyout of many smaller papers. The U.S. newspapers that have steadily maintained the largest circulation in these rapidly changing times are the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. Having an online presence to maintain readership and advertising avenues is one way that today's newspapers are maintaining their valuable community presence in an increasingly digital age.
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About Newspaper Publishers