JRN185 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: William Caxton, Town Crier, Newsquest

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29 Apr 2020
JRN - 185
Newspaper Publishing
Berrow's Worcester Journal
Claims to be the oldest surviving British newspaper (or non-official newspaper as
defined by the British Library)
Its history encapsulates the creation of printed, purchased regional newspapers in
that country in a microcosm
Founded as the Worcester PostMan
A newsletter published irregularly in 1690, starting as the Worcester
Journal in 1709 on a daily weekly basis
This has been continuously published ever since
Paper was produced as William and Mary came to the throne, supporting the new
king and queen in a city which historically had been Stuart in its loyalties
Worcester's first printing press was founded in 1548
Many books had been printed thereon
William Caxton introduced Westminster's first English printing press in 1476
About thirty years after Johan Gutenberg invented the moving type
During the early years of the sixteenth century the first newspapers had started to
be published during Britain
Because the population was predominantly illiterate
Were slow to grow and relied on town criers to shout the news to them
Though the Worcester Newspaper was published and distributed locally
Did not carry any local news at all in an area covering Wolverhampton,
Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Birmingham as well as Worcester
Those who purchased the paper, who were the wealthier and more educated at a
time of restricted literacy, evidently only wanted news from the city, news from
war, politics and parliament
Today the task of the local weekly newspaper is to bring only local news, news
from the community
Over the years, this has increased and the more local, the more grassroots the
reporting, the more popular the paper becomes
Papers became more local in nature
Their owners grew larger and larger
As Berrow's started as the Worcester Post Man, Stephen Bryan, who was also the
printer and editor, became his first proprietor
Bryan died in 1748, just a few months after his paper was sold to Harvey Berrow
Published the journal as Worcester Journal for a few years
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