Thursday, March 24, 2005

Start the Presses!

Where did print journalism begin? It might have been in my beloved Strasbourg. According to historian Jean Pierre Kintz, Johann Carolus was printing Relation in Strasbourg at least as early as 1605.
"In 1604, he bought a complete printing shop from the widow of a famous printer," said Dr Welke. "In the summer of 1605 he switched to printing his ... newspapers, because it took him ’too much time copying by hand’". Carolus also calculated that he could earn a lot more money "by printing a higher circulation for a lower price".
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace gives a description of the paper:
On savait déjà que Carolus, à l'origine relieur, avait acheté son imprimerie en 1604, à la mort de Tobias Jobin (1570-1604), lui-même fils de l'imprimeur Bernard Jobin. L'acte notarié indique qu'elle avait coûté à l'acheteur 3 724 florins. Les archives de Strasbourg conservent par ailleurs une lettre de Carolus. ...

Imprimée sur quatre ou six pages, remplie de brèves correspondances des grandes villes d'Europe, hebdomadaire, payante (1 florin 5 l'abonnement annuel en 1619) la Relation fut le premier journal au sens moderne du terme. La collection de 1609 (51 numéros car le n° 34 a été arraché) nous est parvenue.

Perhaps it's not surprising: Strasbourg was once the home of Johannes Gutenberg.
[Here's a good essay on the development of printed newspapers.]

1 Comments:

At 4:33 PM, Blogger Nyl-ghau said...

The Elizabethans had some printed newsbooks but they weren't periodicals. That's what I read anyway. I don't know if it's accurate.

 

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