The History and Implications of Journalism

In a sense journalism has always been present in human societies. Even before print, news was passed around in the form of storytelling. Slowly people began to refine forms of communication and by 131 BC regular publications informed the public. The Acta Diurna and The Acta Senatus were official weekly news carved in stone or metal and presented in public forums during Roman societies. First operating underground, the Acta Senatus began to record public news and legal proceedings in the senate. It was Julius Caesar that eventually legalised these notices around the year 59 BC.

During the Dark Ages technology failed to move forward, people where informed through official proclamations released from high profile rulers, monks or scholars only. However, during this time there where significant advances in movable type technology in Asia. Individual sheets of paper where pressed into wooden blocks with text and illustrations carved into them. (Pan, 1997) Similar methods triggered further development, by 1425 paper was manufactured regularly and by 1480 there where an estimated 87 printing presses across Europe.

This progress lead to the manufacture and sale of news pamphlets and books, most significantly, Bibles. From 1556 to 1690 the first regular monthly newspapers where coming into circulation around Europe and the USA. Better printing technology meant that publications where of higher quality and could be produced daily.
As technology developed further, newspapers could be produced on a mass scale. As well as this many new ways to access media began to be produced that aided in the retrieval and forming of news. Fast-forward to the modern era and audiences are consuming the majority of their content online or on devices. A reliability to devices has created a huge market in the form of leasing transponder space and a dependency on platforms owned by technology companies.

However, this power shift away from the press could propose a few dilemmas. A large realm of the public sphere, the internet, was established without interference from large corporations and government law. As a result of this the online network has grown to challenge ideas and be a place for freedom of speech.

There are two main theories to the future of human technology:

Some believe that technology will not affect us as much as suggested. It is possible that the problem does not lie in the amount of information we receive and process, but the tools we have to manage it. We may be at the infancy of our capacity for technologies, only the future will tell what lies ahead for news and journalism.