Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

News

The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself

The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself

by Andrew Pettegree,
The Huffington Post, March 20, 2014

In Italy, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, news gathering scribes began offering their services to subscribing customers. Relying on a web of contacts across Europe and the Ottoman Empire as sources, they delivered regular bulletins with information about politics and commerce. One of the best of them, Benedetto Dei, offered scores of items, each of them delivered in a crisp sentence, with a dateline and a neutral tone, to his rich and powerful clients. "I have news from Genoa," he wrote in 1478, "that the Doge has knighted Batistino and sent away the families of Adorni and Raonesi." At the trade fair in Lyon, Dei reported, "a lot of textiles have been sold and a good deal of money gained too."

 

Read the full article (PDF)