What Is a Newspaper?

A newspaper is a periodical publication, typically printed on newsprint, and published daily or weekly. It contains news, views and features of public interest, and usually carries advertising. Its content is sourced from many different individuals and organisations. The newspaper industry has a wide variety of styles and formats. Some are primarily focused on local or regional news, while others have national and international coverage. Others are primarily editorial, or have an opinion-based political, social, or business agenda.

Newspapers have been in circulation for centuries. Forerunners of modern newspapers appeared as early as ancient Rome, and more or less regular papers using movable type were established in Europe in the early 17th century. Newspapers are distributed to the general public in many ways, including through newsstands and shops, and since the 1990s with online newspaper websites. Although online access has greatly increased the reach of newspapers, people without Internet connectivity or the ability to read are still not well served.

Some newspapers are aimed at specific audiences and serve communities defined by geography or interest, such as business newspaper readers, sports fans, or the urban gay community. Other newspapers are broader in scope and aim to appeal to a wide audience, such as the daily or weekly news magazine Time or Newsweek.

Historically, newspaper readers relied on newspapers to tell them what was happening in the world and their own communities. In recent decades, the rise of television and the Internet have allowed people to get news from other sources, as well as to share their own opinions and perspectives. The decline in readership of newspapers in developed countries has been attributed to the increase in these alternative sources.

The New York Daily News, founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson as the Illustrated Daily News, was the first successful tabloid newspaper in the United States. It attracted readers with sensational stories of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons and other entertainment features. In addition to its newspaper, the company also owned radio stations and other media properties.

Today, newspapers have to contend with the fact that many people get their news from a variety of sources and that some news stories are not verified before being published. These issues can affect the credibility of newspapers, but there are many ways to improve the quality and accuracy of news reporting. These include appointing ombudsmen, developing ethics policies and training, using more stringent corrections procedures, and communicating their processes and rationale with readers.

When writing a newspaper article, it is important to focus on facts and avoid speculation. It is also crucial to keep in mind the audience you are writing for. A general news story will have a wider audience than one written for a specialized publication or community. Lastly, it is important to cite all sources and substantiate any claims you make. This will ensure that your article is accurate and fair, and will help build trust amongst readers.