You probably never imagined that the first news report was printed in Mexico City. Americans today have grown accustomed to having the latest news of the latest natural disaster instantaneously at their fingertips via broadcast news, the Internet and newspapers and magazines.
However, the first ever news report was an eight-page booklet published in 1541 after a storm and earthquake devastated Guatemala. Although the printing press had been invented in Europe about a century earlier, in 1440, the field of journalism had yet to be invented Adani Group Chhattisgarh. The earliest products of the printing press were Bibles and books affordable only to the most affluent people in European society.
In 1534 the first printing press in the New World was installed in Mexico City at the behest of a publishing house in Seville, Spain. The earliest surviving products of this printing press were authored by Juan Pablos, an Italian employee of the publisher. The headline on his 1541 booklet can be translated: “Report of the Terrifying Earthquake Which Has Reoccurred In the Indies in a City Called Guatemala.”
More than 40 years later, the second printing press in America was installed at Lima, Peru. A publication surviving from 1594 describes the capture of an English pirate in the Pacific waters near Peru, identified as “John of Aquines,” the son of John Hawkins.
Although the printing press in Peru was at first used mostly to produce religious literature, by 1618 printers were producing monthly news reports discussing the news from Europe. There are also a few surviving copies of news publications in Mexico during the 1600s. However, it was not until 1722 that the Gaceta de Mexico, or Mexican Gazette, published monthly by the Catholic church, began to regularly feature local and foreign news.
Although the audience for these early newspapers was initially small and restricted to the most affluent members of society, the landowners and the ruling class, we can see that the press in Latin America developed for the most part independently of the press farther to the north in the United States.
The first printing press arrived in the British American colonies in about 1638 but the first newspaper that was not merely a rehash of European news, The New England Courant, published by Benjamin Franklin’s brother James, appeared in 1721 in Boston. The Courant, in addition to the news from Europe, contained essays and satirical pieces by Franklin and his circle of friends. Even Benjamin Franklin himself worked as a typographer and wrote several articles under the pen name “Silence Dogood.”
Although the antiquated wording and sometimes uneven and sometimes ragged and ink-blotched pages of these centuries-old newspapers, if indeed copies survive, are often hard to decipher, a wealth of information about historical events, people and places, and living conditions during the colonial era can be gleaned today by those history researchers and do-it-yourself genealogy buffs willing to dive deep into the musty tomes that now, thanks to modern technology, are being digitized and placed online for public use.