What Is a Newspaper?

Daily News

A newspaper is a periodical publication printed on paper with news, opinions and analysis of current events and containing information about people, places and things. Most newspapers are general interest publications, covering local and national issues as well as international stories. They are usually divided into sections for politics and government; business and finance; crime, weather, and natural disasters; sports; leisure and entertainment, such as fashion, food, and gardening; education, science and technology; and society and culture. Newspapers also contain crosswords and other puzzles, as well as advertising. The overall manager of a newspaper, and in some countries the chief executive, is the publisher.

The first daily newspaper in the world was published in the Netherlands in 1617. It was a compact, handwritten publication called the Notizie scritte that cost one gazetta, a small coin. These early newspapers served as a means of conveying political, military and economic news quickly to cities and towns across Europe.

In addition to reporting and interpreting the news, most traditional newspapers include editorials (and sometimes opinion articles called “op-eds”) that express the editor’s views on public issues; and columns that provide personal opinions from guest writers. Many newspapers have a section for reviews of books, movies, television and other cultural products. Most also have a classified advertisement section, and many have websites that allow people to place ads online.

Many newspapers, especially those with larger circulations, produce a weekly magazine that includes articles that are not published in the daily newspaper as well as puzzles and other entertainment content. Many such magazines are free, but some charge for subscriptions. The newspaper industry has been challenged in recent years as the number of people reading newspapers has declined, and advertising revenue from print ads has fallen, with some papers shutting down entirely or reducing their staffs.

Despite these challenges, newspapers continue to play an important role in the world. In some cases, they are the only source of news and information for a large portion of the population. In the United States, there are currently 154 daily newspapers with a combined circulation of approximately 40 million. Among them are The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. In the United Kingdom, The Guardian and The Telegraph are the two largest. Other European newspapers include the Berliner Zeitung and The Telegraph in Germany, The Observer and The Times of London in Britain, Le Parisien in France and L’Espresso in Italy. In many areas, regional and ethnic newspapers serve particular groups of the population. Often these are printed as weekly or monthly publications, but in other cases they are published on a regular daily basis.