In Juni 1618 the oldest, still preserved, printed Dutch newspaper was published in Amsterdam: the Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. The Dutch Republic was one of the first countries with a printed newspaper. Since that time the Netherlands has more often been at the front of media innovation.
The Newspaper, a cultural history is the first of a trilogy of books about Dutch media history in international context, edited by media historian Huub Wijfjes. Other volumes cover The Radio (2019) and The Television (2021). The Newspaper is co-edited by Frank Harbers.
The Newspaper describes in detail the rise of the newspaper as a cultural form with a profound economic, social, and cultural meaning in the seventeenth century. In the 18th century a strong political dimension is added to that, with the rise of the partisan press at the eve of and during the French Revolution. In the second part of the nineteenth century the newspaper becomes the centre of a mass press, reaching for a mass audience with all sorts of modern identities.
The twentieth century first showed the dominant position of the newspaper in public opinion till the nineteen sixties. After that television outflanked the newspaper, forcing newspaper to specialize on journalism in the broadest sense. In the internet age the newspaper is forced to redefine itself again, in a process that is still unfinished. But after 400 years the newspaper is still a prominent force in media culture.