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Sample of Research Paper- HISTORY OF PRINT MEDIA

The purpose of my research paper is to present the history of the printed media and its development in the Western civilization, more specifically in the state of Indiana. Moreover, it touches on description of all the problems and encountered till these days. Printed media is one of the most important and popular means of the distribution of information.


Throughout the development of printed media it has faced obstacles that ranged from general, economic, social and maybe religious approaches. Despite the development of emerging media communications, printed media has proved to be one of the most reliable and available media that we can find nowadays in our local community. This paper focus on the history of print media, the number of print newpapers and magazines in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the comparison of print and online edition of newpaper and the challenges facing the print media.


In Fort Wayne, Indiana or just like any other place in the world, the history of the print media and other forms of communications follow the technological changes through out civilization and cultural changes. Communication development is marked with the changes in that have occurred since about 30,000 years BC when the early artists painted pictures in caves. The progress to writing was also marked with economic changes from a hunter gatherer kind of economic system to agricultural based way of live. It is of importance to note that the first written media was evidenced in Mesopotamia at Uruk in 3,500BC (Some Dates in the History of Cultural Technologies, online). Later around 29,00BC, hieroglyphic writing was developed by the Egyptians which could be used by priests to keep data on population and taxation. The Egyptian writings were carried out on papyrus and were less permanent when compared with the stone carvings in caves.

It is in Palestine in 160 BC when the first initial alphabetic writings were witnessed under the pressure of early Phoenician and Hebrew in 113BC and 110BC respectively. The alphabet was first scribed on stones and tables before the evolution of writing surfaces. It is in china where the initial light writing materials in form of dried papyrus and parchments papers were developed. The present paper as a writing material was first developed in China by Tsai Lun in 105 BC.

The innovation of paper as ma means of print media was one of the greatest technological advancement in the revolution of the print media. The first printing was done in 11th century while the first book was available in the market in 100 AD. (The History of Communication, online). The first books were written using scribes in monasteries. It is a German Jahann Gutenberg who invented a movable fast, reliable printing press and this marked another great revolution since it facilitated mass production. It is in 1609 that through this invention that the first newspaper was printed in German and in 1702 in England. The print media got another boost in 1714 when an Englishman, Henry Mill invented the typewriter which later facilitated the point print in 1737 by Pierre Simon Fournier which was later improved by Ambroise Didot. The final improvement of 72 point is still used today by the computers.

It is later in 1839 when lithograph could be employed to decorate newspapers and later in 1881 when the halftone press was developed. The industrial revolution catalyzed the development of steam power printing press by Friedrich Koenig in 1810 (Kipphan, 2001, p 396).. Machines were later made to improve ways of typesetting, notably the machines were linotype and monotype machines. Later 1831, the first electric telegraph was invented and this made it easier to share data between different cities and continents. The fax machines, mimeograph and later photocopier machines were developed subsequently. In 1935, the first electric typewriter was introduced into the market and this served many needs simultaneously since the user could adjust to different font sizes and different styles. There after, IBM came up with word processor in 1965 while in 1979, VisiCalc invented the spreadsheet program and the printing media transformed the business world and globe at large (Kipphan, 2001, p 581- 675).

Digital typesetting eventually was transformed by Postscript digital printing which is characterized by powerful graphics handling among other things. It is this when coupled with the early computer programs that eventually came up with the computer based printing technology. Currently the printed media has become so expansive and more printed medial is available to many people due to its technological advancement. The technological advancement has also resulted to the threat of the print media whereby through the e- publishing, more books are available online. The E-books are cheaper and easily accessible for many people since through the digital technological, it is easy to download a book online than purchase it from a book store.


With the advancement in information and technology, the media, especially the print media is shifting from the traditions mode of print copies to the electronic mode commonly referred to as the electronic data which has been facilitated by the computer technology. The electronic data which has taken the place of the print editions of the newspapers due to several advantages, however, the electronic edition or the online editions as commonly referred to has also some drawback. The number on the print medial in circulation has greatly reduced due to the growth of the use of the online editions.

The online edition of the newspapers has several features that are not found on the print editions. The ability to get response through the chat option available at the online editions enables the users of the online editions to get clarity on certain issues that need clarification. The online editions also allow the users to chat and to express their own personal opinions on the news available instantly. Through the online edition, the users can access the specific information instantly instead of turning through the pages. Due to the flexibility of the online editions, one can easily change the data or information from one language to another instantly to enable the user to fully understand the news in the preferred language. The features available at the print editions of newspapers and not available on the online editions include the detailed information. The print media is usually more detailed than the online editions.

Free Sample of Research Paper! advancement in information

Many prefer the online editions since it is easy to click and gets the preferred news instead of turning through pages hence not time consuming, they can also access several newspapers in the globe online without having to purchase them. In reference to the growing concern of global warming, there is not problem about the disposal of the online papers unlike in the print media. Another great advantage of the online media over the print media is its ability to access the breaking news instantly unlike in the print media where one has to wait for the paper to be printed, transported and be delivered to my residence. This enabled me to get the results of the results of the US presidential elections as soon as they were announced (Bimber, et, al,2003, p 20). The major problem with the online papers is that it required some technical skills and a computer, more so, it is not flexible like the print media where I can read the news at my own pace since the longer they stay online the higher the cost.

With the advancement of the information technology, the print media is losing the market share to the online editions due to the convenience of the online edition. Since the world is becoming a global village, the printed versions are getting phased out and it is important for the all the firms in the media to provide online publications of the newspapers if they have to remain in business.

Besides the above comparison between the print and online media, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, there are many problems associated with print media. A common problem this is greatly affecting the print media is the highly levels of inaccuracy which many reporters claim happened as they try to meet the deadlines, due to being overworked and due to understaffing in the print media firms and many other excuses. Despite the inaccuracy, many mistakes are left uncorrected. This makes other media to have an advantage since a problem in the online edition can be corrected fast before many readers get the wrong news online in print media where by when a mistake occurs, it can only be corrected the following day or month depending with the frequency of the paper or magazine. Another problem of print media in Fort Wayne, Indiana is putting a lot of stress in sensational news like news on sex scandals while neglecting the more important news and this is done by the editors with the aim of selling more copies of the newspapers. Other problems with the print media are that they are mainly concerned with making huge profits and are considered not to serve the interest of the public (Current Problems in the Media, online).


There are a number of newspapers in Fort Wayne, Indiana that are either non commercial or commercial newspapers. The non commercial newspapers include the The Communicator; a weekly student newspaper owned by Indiana-Purdue Student Newspapers, Inc. The commercial newspapers include East Allen County Times, Georgetown Times, St. Joe Times, DuPont Valley Times, Aboite & About,          Macedonian Tribune, Waynedale News, Fort Wayne Reader, Frost Illustrated, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, The News-Sentinel, and Fort Wayne Journal Gazette among others. These commercial newspapers are weekly, biweekly, monthly or daily newspapers. The magazines available include Northern Indiana LAKES Magazine, Fort Wayne Monthly Magazine, Real Estate & Homes and (Fort Wayne) BusinessPeople.


Though the print media has undergone a long time of evolution from the time of stone carvings to the current computer printing technology, the print media needs to improve its services and its quality in order to complete effectively with the online edition of the print media. The fierce competition of the print media has been catalyzed by technological advancement and as the world becomes a global village and every household can afford a PC and access internet at their homes, the print media is slowly getting phase out. This therefore calls for an investment on research and development on the means and ways to improve the print media. The government of the various states including that of Indiana needs to understand the essence of the print media in the economy especially job creation. The problems of phasing out print media buy essays cheap are likely to affect not only the economy of Fort Wayne, Indiana but also that of US and globe at large. Therefore, in a nutshell, the print media needs to be protected from becoming extinct since it has taken ages for it to grow.


Bimber Bruce Allen, Davis Richard (2003) Campaigning online: the Internet in U.S. elections, Ed, Oxford, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0195151550, 9780195151558

Current Problems in the Media, retrieved on 5th, April 2009, available at

Kipphan Helmut (2001) Handbook of print media: technologies and production methods, Ed, NY, Springer, ISBN 3540673261, 9783540673262

Some Dates in the History of Cultural Technologies, retrieved on 5th, April 2009, available at

The History of Communication, retrieved on 5th, April 2009, available at