Newspapers developed in the 17th century, as information sheets for businessmen. By the early 19th century, many cities in Europe, as well as North and South America, published newspapers. As of 2017, most newspapers are now published online as well as in print. The online versions are called online newspapers or news websites.
A wide variety of material is published in newspapers, including opinion columns, weather forecasts, reviews of local services, obituaries, birth notices, crosswords, editorial cartoons, comic strips, and advice columns. Most newspapers are businesses, and they pay their expenses with a mixture of subscription revenue, newsstand sales, and advertising revenue.
News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and witnesses to events. It is also used as a platform to manufacture opinion for the population see propaganda.
Common topics for news reports include war, government, politics, education, health, the environment, economy, business, fashion, and entertainment, as well as athletic events, quirky or unusual events. Government proclamations, concerning royal ceremonies, laws, taxes, public health, and criminals, have been dubbed news since ancient times. Humans exhibit a nearly universal desire to learn and share news, which they satisfy by talking to each other and sharing information.
News can travel through different communication media. In modern times, printed news had to be phoned into a newsroom or brought there by a reporter, where it was typed and either transmitted over wire services or edited and manually set in type along with other news stories for a specific edition. Today, the term "breaking news" has become trite as commercial broadcasting United States cable news services that are available 24 hours a day use live communications satellite technology to bring current events into consumers' homes as the event occurs. Events that used to take hours or days to become common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed instantaneously to consumers via radio, television, mobile phone, and the internet.
Technological and social developments, often driven by government communication and espionage networks, have increased the speed with which news can spread, as well as influenced its content. The genre of news as we know it today is closely associated with the newspaper, which originated in China as a court bulletin and spread, with paper and