Johann Carolus

Johann Carolus

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Johann Carolus (1575−1634) was the publisher of the first newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

, called Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien (Account of all distinguished and commemorable news). The Relation is recognised by the World Association of Newspapers
World Association of Newspapers
The World Association of Newspapers is a non-profit, non-governmental organization made up of 76 national newspaper associations, 12 news agencies, 10 regional press organisations and individual newspaper executives in 100 countries...

, as well as many authors as the world's first newspaper. The German-language newspaper was published in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, which had the status of an imperial free city in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

Dating


In 2005, the World Association of Newspapers
World Association of Newspapers
The World Association of Newspapers is a non-profit, non-governmental organization made up of 76 national newspaper associations, 12 news agencies, 10 regional press organisations and individual newspaper executives in 100 countries...

 accepted evidence that Carolus' pamphlet was printed beginning in 1605, not 1609 as previously thought. Carolus' petition discovered in the Strasbourg Municipal Archive in the 1980s may be regarded as the birth certificate of the newspaper:
Whereas I have hitherto been in receipt of the weekly news advice [handwritten news reports] and, in recompense for some of the expenses incurred yearly, have informed yourselves every week regarding an annual allowance; Since, however, the copying has been slow and has necessarily taken much time, and since, moreover, I have recently purchased at a high and costly price the former printing workshop of the late Thomas Jobin and placed and installed the same in my house at no little expense, albeit only for the sake of gaining time, and since for several weeks, and now for the twelfth occasion, I have set, printed and published the said advice in my printing workshop, likewise not without much effort, inasmuch as on each occasion I have had to remove the formes from the presses …


The Relation was soon followed by other periodicals, such as the Avisa Relation oder Zeitung
Avisa Relation oder Zeitung
Avisa Relation oder Zeitung was one of the first news-periodicals in the world. It was published in Wolfenbüttel, Germany in 1609. The printer/publisher was Lucas Schulte. The first issue states that the news had been collected from various countries by January 15...

.

Definition


If a newspaper is defined by the functional criteria of publicity, seriality, periodicity and currency or actuality (that is, as a single current-affairs series regularly published at intervals short enough to keep abreast of incoming news) then it was the first European newspaper. English historian of printing Stanley Morison
Stanley Morison
Stanley Morison was an English typographer, designer and historian of printing.Born in Wanstead, Essex, Morison spent most of his childhood and early adult years at the family home in Fairfax Road, Harringay...

, using a criterion of format rather than function, held that the Relation should be classified as a newsbook, on the grounds that it still employs the format and most of the conventions of a book: it is printed in quarto
Book size
The size of a book is generally measured by the height against the width of a leaf, or sometimes the height and width of its cover. A series of terms is commonly used by libraries and publishers for the general sizes of modern books, ranging from "folio" , to "quarto" and "octavo"...

 size and the text is set in a single wide column. By this definition, the world's first newspaper is the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c.
Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c.
Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. was the first Dutch newspaper. It was published in June 1618 in Amsterdam. It was a regular weekly publication. It can be called the first broadsheet paper, because it was issued in folio-size...

from 1618, but by the same definition no German, English, French or Italian weekly (or even daily) news publications from the first half of the 17th century can be considered "newspapers".

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