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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 1947

Newspapers Historical Background

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By Amir Chowdhury Maths Coursework

 Mr Hore


Historical Background

Until the invention of printing, the public had to be satisfied with whatever information it was given by official sources, or it had to make do with hearsay and rumor. The early evidence of an official means of spreading news dates from 59 BC in Rome, where a daily gazette called Acta Diurna (Daily Events) was published. Attributed to Julius Caesar, it contained coverage of social and political events: elections, public appointments, government edicts, treaties, trials and executions, military news, births, marriages, and deaths. The Acta Diurna was written in manuscript and displayed in prominent places in Rome. A similar approach to publishing news was undertaken in China from the 6th to the 20th century.  

During the Middle Ages manuscript newsletters containing political and commercial information were circulated among the few people who could read. There were also occasional newsbooks, or pamphlets, detailing an unusual event such as a battle. Between 1590 and 1610 about 450 newsbooks were published in England alone.  

The first true newspapers were derived from commercial bulletins early in the 17th century. These bulletins circulated among the merchants of port cities such as Antwerp and Venice, and they carried news brought back by ship captains and crews from distant places. These early papers were called corantos, or "currents of news." They appeared first in Holland and shortly after in England and France. Other countries also soon had their rudimentary newspapers: Switzerland in 1610, Austria in 1620, Denmark in 1634, Sweden in 1645, and Poland in 1661.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch into a crusading journal. William Randolph Hearst, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, bought the Morning Journal in New York City. Pulitzer had bought the New York World, and soon the two competed in a furious rivalry. They used scare headlines, many illustrations, Sunday supplements, and comic strips to attract readers. Their tactics gained the name yellow journalism, from a comic strip named "The Yellow Kid," which played a part in the rivalry.  

The techniques of yellow journalism spread throughout the newspaper industry. To combat it, Adolph S. Ochs took over the New York Times in 1896 and reestablished it as a serious newspaper with its well-known slogan: "All the news that's fit to print." This marked the comeback of the type of journalism inaugurated by William Gordon Bennett 60 years earlier.  

And this is how and why newspapers were first invented. Nowadays in Britain, newspapers are divided into two sections- tabloid and broadsheet. Tabloid newspapers can be described as ‘yellow journalism’ as they use gossip to attract readers. Broadsheet newspapers however, are there to inform readers on current affairs.


The aim of this investigation is to compare different types of newspapers, using analytical methods. I will be comparing a broadsheet newspaper with a tabloid newspaper, evaluating the usage of text layouts and pictorial designs against each other. I will approach this investigation in an analytical manner in order to make a full comparison between the two types of newspapers.

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Standard Deviation

The standard deviation is the square root of the variance. It is most commonly used measure of spread. An important attribute of the standard deviation as a measure of spread is that if the mean and standard deviation of a normal distribution are known, it is possible to compute the percentile rank associated with any given score.

Research on Opinions

The first part of my investigation was to find out which newspapers I should base my whole investigation on. I decided to use the most popular in each field and so I will conduct a small survey to see which tabloid newspaper and which broadsheet newspaper is the most popular. I managed to ask 40 people about what they thought, all from a variety of backgrounds and age groups, so I could see which is, generally, the most favourable newspaper, across a wide range of different people.

From my results, I established that a majority of 66% found that the best tabloid newspaper was ‘The Sun’. I have also established that the majority of 37% found that the best broadsheet was ‘The Evening Standard’. Therefore I will be using these two newspapers for my coursework.

Using the two most popular newspapers, in their particular fields, to base my investigation on was essential. It was an essential part of my investigation as it is important to analyse the most profited newspapers in order to understand why customers choose to buy them.

Standard Deviation

Here is the formula for standard deviation:


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