Journalism and Mass Communication Timeline

Barun Roy

Barun Roy B. A. (Philosophy Hons), PGDCA, PGCAD, M.A. (Journalism and Mass Communication), M.A. (History) is an Independent researcher, scholar and an author based in Darjeeling, India.

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  • 200 AD 

Woodblock printing began in China. It was first used to print on cloth but with the availability of paper, printing was also done on paper.

  • 220 AD

The world’s earliest woodblock printed fragments to survive from China and are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty. It is traced to 220 AD or the thereabouts.

  • 868 AD 
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world

Front piece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world

World’s oldest instance of the woodblock printed book ‘Diamond Sutra’. The book carries a date of its publication much like the books today. It puts its date of publication as the 13th day of the fourth moon of the ninth year of the Xiantong era  which has been calculated by the historians to be 11th of May 868

  • 1515

It was not that the Arab world was not aware of the invention of the modern Printing Press by Johannes Gutenberg. They were however, against it and believed the mass printing of the Islamic Scripture was blasphemous. In Sultan Selim I went to the extent of issuing a decree under which the practice of printing was declared punishable by death.

  • 1641

Samuel Hartlib, who was exiled in Britain and enthusiastic about social and cultural reforms, wrote in 1641 that “the art of printing will so spread knowledge that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppression” His words were prophetic because with the invention of the modern Printing Press by Johannes Gutenberg, the art of printing supercharged the renaissance and played a great role in heralding the reformation, scientific revolution and the industrial revolution.

Samuel Hartlib was a German-British polymath. An active promoter and expert writer in many fields, he was interested in science, medicine, agriculture, politics, and education. He settled in England, where he married and died. He was a contemporary of Robert Boyle whom he knew well, and a neighbour of Samuel Pepys in Axe Yard.

  • 1702

In 1702 Daily Courant, the first daily newspaper in the world was published by Samuel Buckley in London, England.It was also one of the first newspapers to raise revenue by selling advertisement space in its columns.

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