Module JC060

The History of Journalism

Module author

Tanni Haas

City University of New York

Learning objectives After you have worked through this module, you will be able to:
  • Understand how journalism has developed over time.

  • Appreciate the various forces that have impacted the practice of journalism historically.

  • Distinguish between oral, handwritten, printed, electronic, and computer-based journalism.

  • Analyze the many societal roles journalism has played historically.

  • Describe the most important institutions and actors in the history of journalism.


Chapter 1: Journalism in preliterate, tribal societies
1.1 Announcing the death of a tribal member
1.2 Sharing the news in public spaces
1.3 Using public gatherings for journalistic purposes
1.4 News criers, news messengers, and news specialists
1.5 Oral Journalism through the millennia
Critical reflection

Chapter 2: The emergence of handwritten journalism
2.1 Acta Diurna in Rome
2.2 Dibao in China
2.3 The continued relevance of handwritten journalism
Critical reflection

Chapter 3: The invention of the printing press and printed journalism
3.1 The printing press
3.2 News books
3.3 News ballads
3.4 Censorship and self-censorship
3.5 Licensing of printers
Critical reflection

Chapter 4: The Emergence of newspaper journalism (17th and 18th centuries)
4.1 The first weekly newspapers
4.2 The first daily newspapers
4.3 The birth of the partisan press
Critical reflection

Chapter 5: The maturation of newspaper journalism (19th century and beyond)
5.1 The penny press
5.2 Wire services
5.3 Yellow journalism, muckrakers, and tabloid journalism
5.4 Newspaper journalism in the 21st century
Critical reflection

Chapter 6: Radio and television journalism
6.1 Radio Journalism
6.2 Television journalism
Critical reflection

Chapter 7: Computer-based journalism
7.1 The emergence of computer-based journalism
7.2 The uses of computers in the journalistic process
7.3 The online challenge to newspapers
7.4 The online challenge to radio and television
Critical reflection

Chapter 8: Beyond objective journalism
8.1 Scientific journalism
8.2 Advocacy journalism
8.3 Literary journalism
Critical reflection

Chapter 9: Inspiring pro-social forms of journalism
9.1 Development journalism
9.2 Solutions journalism
9.3 Public journalism
Critical reflection

Chapter 10: The disruptive potential of computers and computing
10.1 Computational journalism
10.2 Collaborative journalism
10.3 Citizen journalism
Critical reflection

Study points 2
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