Online Vs. Print Publishing

History of Print Publishing

The introduction of printing created a medium for communication like no other. "Until the advent of radio it was the great means of communication" (Chappell 3). As paper became more widely available in the thirteenth century writing became more prominent. When the need to reproduce texts became greater, Gutenberg's movable type came about followed by a variety of other printing processes. By 1500 somewhere around 12,000,000 books in 35,000 editions had been printed. The world's first newspaper was published in Germany in 1609 (Chappell 127). But with such volumes suddenly being distributed, regulations were made to prohibit unrestrained publishing in 1637 when England limited the number of print shops and foundries by decrees. "In the cradle years of printing opposition came chiefly from organized calligraphers and illuminators whose livelihood was threatened. The content of manuscripts was seldom in question; most were classics or ecclesiastical writings and many were in Greek or Latin, which made them inaccessible to all but a few scholars and churchmen. But with the coming of the seventeenth century, printing was being viewed as a threat to established power, both religious and political" (Chappell 112-113). Though people like John Milton spoke out in favor of freedom of press and against requiring official censoring before publication of any text, governments' fear of political unrest kept even the first American newspaper from continuing after its first issue. Attempted by Benjamin Harris in 1690, the governor and council of the American colony declared the paper was not authorized and ended further production.

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