Periodical publication reporting current events in a local area and the wider world and sometimes offering comment and opinion on that news.
Periodical publication reporting current events in a local area and the wider world and sometimes offering comment and opinion on that news. Newspapers were typically published on a daily or weekly basis but with many variants (such as bi-weekly, daily with a sunday supplement, or morning and evening editions) and originally available to a geographically defined audience in the circulation area.
Early newspapers were a text-only medium but many included an increasing proportion of illustration as technologies improved.
Newspapers were distinguished from notices, broadsheets, posters or pamphlets that might carry similar content by the regular publishing schedule; and from from magazines by more frequent printing on lesser quality stock (called newsprint because of its association) and their emphasis upon the currency of the content.
The earliest recognised newspapers (from approximately 1610) were made possible by the development of the printing press which enabled the low-cost reproduction of pages of text for distribution in a timely manner.
For a period newspapers were the principal source of information, informal education and entertainment of most people until that role was taken over by radio and then television.
No longer necessarily associated with production of physical object, "newspapers" are increasingly published on-line in addition to (or instead of) on paper. This can significantly expand the number of readers to which a particular title is available.
Technologies which enable on-line newspapers also lower the barrier to the entry of competitors.
Newspapers produced in the time and place in which your ancestors lived can provide valuable sources of confirmatory evidence of their life events, residence or activities.
Sale of space for advertisements in the newspaper generates revenue that reduces need for purchase price to reflect the actual cost of producing the paper. Advertisements can offer family history researchers valuable insights into the everyday lives of their ancestors.
Most newspapers maintained a library of back issues. A number of organisations have undertaken the task of making those archives available in the form of images or fully digitised. Some are commercial ventures, but others are available free by government or academic libraries.