United States Newspapers

All About U.S. Newspapers

Knowing what is going on in your local community is very important. You can find out local news, weather, current events and local politics from many different sources such as,

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Internet

All of those mediums are very powerful, some more than others. United States newspapers have been playing their part in bringing local and national news to American citizens since the 18th century. Today, US newspapers whether these are daily, weekly, or publications issued at regular intervals, bring news, features, and views of public interest to the people not only from their own country but from all over the world.

Top Ten Newspapers of the US

These are the top leading newspapers across the US that excel at the job of delivering us news, top stories and latest headlines from all over the 50 states. The news they provide is not only of the current events but also covers sports, entertainment and other industries.

  • USA Today
  • The Wall Street Journal (also known as The Journal)
  • The New York Times
  • New York Post
  • Los Angeles Times
  • The Washington Post
  • Star Tribune
  • Newsday
  • Chicago Tribune
  • The Boston Globe

The Most Popular Newspaper of the USA

USA Today tops the list of the popular category with a circulation of 2,301,917 newspapers. As per the latest research and data, in 2018 around 1,279 daily newspapers were being circulated in the United States. There has been a continuing decline in daily newspaper circulations. According to the 1970 statistics there were 1,748 daily news publications in the US. Since then, the number has been declining, primarily because people are getting their local news from the internet.

The First Newspaper of the United States

The first US newspaper was Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick.The first multi-page newspaper was published in Boston, in September 1690. Before it was launched, one-page newspapers were issued. This newspaper had four pages. Sadly, it was the only edition published. On September 29, the same year, it was shut down on the orders of the Colonial government. The publisher of the newspaper Benjamin Harris was arrested on charges of political criticisms in the publication. All the copies were destroyed.

The Oldest Running United States Newspaper

The New York Post has been running since 1801. This makes it the oldest running publication to continuously issue daily newspapers. Another publication that claims to be the oldest is the Hartford Courant. It began as a weekly by the name of “Connecticut Courant” on October 29, 1764.

Brief History

History of newspapers in the US starts from Boston where the first publication of Publick Occurrences was issued in 1690. Then came the Boston News-Letter by postmaster John Campbell in 1704 which was much successful. 1720’s saw more newspapers in states like New York and Philadelphia. Soon there were around 24 newspapers circulating in all colonies. It is important to know that New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were the centers for printing and that remained this way for a long time to come. They became a political force in the fight for a free America. By the end of war there were 43 newspapers that continued to reflect the state of affairs of the nation. At the time the need to ensure freedom of press was felt and thus came the Bill of Rights in 1791 – the first amendment in the US constitution that protected freedom of press. With advancements in printing technology and an increased literacy rate, the newspaper industry grew as well. Circulation of newspapers multiplied in all 50 states when prices were reduced. With the “Penny Press” the newspapers were available to the general public at a low cost. Before it, they were enjoyed by the elite and literate class only. Newspapers enjoyed the peak of success in the early 20th century. At the time over 2,000 daily newspapers were being circulated and over 14,000 weeklies. Radio and television affected its audience but it had continued to thrive. In the 21st century all the newspapers started to have online editions of their papers to take it to a wider audience and keep up with the latest trend of digital journalism.

Design and format of Modern United States Newspapers

The layout or format of newspapers underwent a lot of changes in the 20th century. Now a modern newspaper features photos and illustrations, bold banner headlines, comics, sports and entertainment coverage, along with the political and event news are newspaper staples. When color images started being used, it changed the look of the newspaper. Then newspaper design evolved from then on. In the 1920’s and 30’s, newspapers started using comic strips, puzzles, use of illustrations and such other features to keep the readers engaged . Today along with the news coverage, the design and layout are also given a lot of attention. Professional designers are hired to work on the layout and make the newspapers attractive and the text easy to read. They know how to highlight a specific headline, where to place the images and which font to use to make the text easier to read.

Areas the 50 States Newspapers Cover

The most common subjects covered in newspapers include:

  • Politics
  • Current Events
  • Sports
  • Arts
  • Business
  • Entertainment
  • Education
  • Fashion
  • Medicine
  • Environment
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Trade
  • Economy
  • Traffic
  • Weather
  • World
  • Music

US Newspapers Current Day

Welcome to the internet age! With the internet, the news has become far-reaching and can be shared as soon as the event takes place. This has changed journalism dramatically. Because of the impact of news reaching every corner of the world instantly, the world has become more compact, or as they say a global village. Today while sitting at home one can go online and have access to the top stories and the latest headlines anywhere in the world. We can find news regarding anything and everything. The number of daily newspapers in the US is decreasing. As it goes down it has been observed that people are shifting towards digital media for news consumption. This trend has not been observed in the US alone, in fact the situation is the same across the globe. Online readership is easily accessible. One doesn’t have to wait for the printed publication because as soon as the news breaks it is all over digital media. The trend of new visitors on newspaper websites is increasing by the day. This shift can be seen if you study the trend of newspaper ad revenues which are decreasing. On the other hand, digital ad revenues of online newspapers have been steadily increasing.

Newspapers in the US Are Still Relevant

The Internet revolutionized most everything and it has also affected journalism in a big way. Nowadays people get most of their news online, simply because it is faster as well as cheaper. It is such a strong media that it was suggested that it would eliminate other news media like radio, television and newspapers etc. It may have made a big impact on all media, newspapers are not dead yet. In fact, many publications are still going strong. People turn to it as a major source of news in America. It can be safely said that in the United States, there are over 1,300 daily newspapers currently in circulation. Newspapers have always faced competition with other media. In the 1920s it was radio, then in the 1940s the television, but it has stayed strong and held on to its target audience shows its staying power. Internet and Newspapers

More Information Verses Limited Information

The advantage of the internet as a news medium is that you can find a ton of information on so many subjects and events quickly. It can have many perspectives since it is open to all. This can also be a negative, since authentic information can at times be hard to find. For example if you search for particular news, many options will pop up and it is up to you which one you select. On the other hand, a newspaper brings the same information for all. In a newspaper’s story the information is focused and based on facts. The sources of news are verified and then a story is published. Although, the element of a bias may always be present.

Code of Conduct

Newspapers try to keep away from sensationalism. A proper code of ethics is followed. On the internet on the other hand, there is no code of ethics or regulations. Newspaper journalists and reporters have to extensively check their stories and facts before they are allowed to publish. This ensures accuracy and because they are held accountable for whatever they publish. They have to be extra careful.

Did you know?

  • The first successful newspaper in the US was the Boston News-Letter that was published in 1704 by postmaster John Campbell.
  • The first comic in color appeared in 1894 in a US newspaper.
  • Newspapers started using colors in the 1990s.
  • The first illustrated newspaper in New York was issued on August 1 in 1873.
  • William James Carlton of J. Walter Thompson Company started to sell advertising space in newspapers on August 1, 1864. It is the longest running American advertising agency.
  • With the beginning of the penny press on August1, 1833,  The New York Sun newspaper charged only one cent for the paper.
  • Large attention grabbing headlines became common in the late 19th century as a result of increased competition.

State List

Links to over 3,300 United States Newspapers. Click a state below for a list of links to newspapers in that state.