The phrase "the media" began to be used in the 1920s, but referred to something that had its origins much further in the past. The invention of the printing press in the late 15th century gave rise to some of the first forms of mass communication, by enabling the publication of books and newspapers on a scale much larger than was previously possible
The term newspaper became common in the 17th century. However, in Germany, publications that we would today consider to be newspaper publications, were appearing as early as the 16th century. They were discernibly newspapers for the following reasons: they were printed, dated, appeared at regular and frequent publication intervals, and included a variety of news items (unlike single item news mentioned above). The first newspaper however was said to be the Strasbourg Relation, in the early 17th century. German newspapers, like avisis, were organized by the location from which they came, and by date. They differed from avisis in the following manners: they employed a distinct and highly illustrated title page, and they applied an overall date to each issue.
The emergence of the new media branch in the 17th century has to be seen in close connection with the spread of the printing press from which the publishing press derives it name.
The German-language Relation aller Furnemmen und gedenckwurdigen Historien, printed from 1605 onwards by Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, is often recognized as the first newspaper. At the time, Strasbourg was a free imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation; the first newspaper of modern Germany was the Avisa, published in 1609 in Wolfenbuttel.
Other early papers include the Dutch Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. of 1618 was the first to appear in folio- rather than quarto-size. Amsterdam, a center of world trade, quickly became home to newspapers in many languages, often before they were published in their own country.
The first English -language newspaper, Corrant out of Italy, Germany, etc., was published in Amsterdam in 1620. A year and a half later, Corante, or weekely newes from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, France and the Low Countreys. was published in England by an "N.B." (generally thought to be either Nathaniel Butter or Nicholas Bourne) and Thomas Archer.
The first newspaper in France was published in 1631, La Gazette (originally published as Gazette de France).
The first newspaper in Portugal, A Gazeta da Restauracao, was published in 1641 in Lisbon. The first Spanish newspaper, Gaceta de Madrid, was published in 1661.
Post- och Inrikes Tidningar (founded as Ordinari Post Tijdender) was first published in Sweden in 1645, and is the oldest newspaper still in existence, though it now publishes solely online.
Opregte Haarlemsche Courant from Haarlem, first published in 1656, is the oldest paper still printed. It was forced to merge with the newspaper Haarlems Dagblad in 1942 when Germany occupied the Netherlands. Since then the Haarlems Dagblad appears with the subtitle Oprechte Haerlemse Courant 1656 and considers itself to be the oldest newspaper still publishing.
Merkuriusz Polski Ordynaryjny was published in Krakow, Poland in 1661.
The first successful English daily, The Daily Courant, was published from 1702 to 1735.
News was frequently highly selective: rulers would often use them as ways to publish accounts of battles or events that made those rulers look good to the public. Sensationalist material was also printed, such as accounts of magic or of natural disasters; this material did not pose a threat to the state, because it did not pose criticism of the state. Printers readily printed sensationalist material because they faced a ready market, which proved lucrative for them. Printers found there was a market for news about rulers that did not cast those rulers in a favorable light. Printers could get away with doing so, because they would print the publication overnight and sell it quickly. This quick publication pace also resulted in quick returns on investments for printers.
Private uses of early news publications: rulers and merchants both established networks of people who were employed to provide them news from other lands, and here is an early manifestation of correspondence in news writing. Rulers found out political information from these networks, and merchants found out business information, and also political information that directly affected their trade.
James Clerk Maxwell showed mathematically that electromagnetic waves could propagate through free space. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz and many others demonstrated, on a laboratory scale, radio wave propagation.
Transmission and radiation of radio frequency energy was a feature exhibited in the experiments by Nikola Tesla which he proposed might be used for the telecommunication of information. The Tesla method was described in New York in 1897. In 1897, Tesla applied for two key United States radio patents, US 645576 , first radio system patent, and US 649621 . Tesla also used sensitive electromagnetic receivers, that were unlike the less responsive coherers later used by Marconi and other early experimenters. Shortly thereafter, he began to develop wireless remote control devices.
The history of television records the work of numerous engineers and inventors in several countries over many decades. The fundamental principles of television were initially explored using electromechanical methods to scan, transmit and reproduce an image. As electronic camera and display tubes were perfected, electromechanical television gave way to all-electronic systems in nearly all applications.