Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
William J. Thorn
Newspaper distribution evolved with urban growth and improving modes of transportation. Acta Diurna , the reports of the Roman Senate, were proclaimed in the Forum and delivered by courier to the homes of senators, then by horse and ship to officials throughout the empire. During Venice's war against Dalmatian pirates, scribes in the Kingdom of St. Mark (Venice) wrote news accounts that were posted on walls and sold in piazzas; a few individual copies were sold for a gazetta , the smallest coin. Johannes Gutenburg's printing press of the 1450s increased the number of copies produced in a day, allowing and encouraging wider distribution at lower cost. In 1611 Nathaniel Butter hired buxom “Mercurie women” to attract buyers for his paper on street corners. Street kiosks, booksellers, and postal systems became common methods. Ships brought European newspapers to American colonies and carried colonial newspapers back to Europe. Benjamin Franklin, who ...