We explain what the newspaper is and what its characteristics are. Also, how is its structure and its most popular formats.

What is a newspaper and what is it for?

The newspaper is a mass communication medium, in print or digital format, that allows the communication of recent news or current affairs and public interest. The word newspaper comes from Latin and refers to "something that happens at regular intervals."

The newspaper is powerful and serves to inform, promote, persuade and form opinions to a large number of the population . Its diffusion can be daily, weekly or monthly. Daily newspapers are usually first edition or morning edition , that is, they are issued first thing in the morning. If it is broadcast in the late afternoon, it is called the evening edition .

Origin of the newspaper

Origin of the newspaper

The origin of the newspaper covers a period of evolution that goes back to the time of the Roman Empire , around the year 60 BC , when Julius Caesar was the highest authority and used to periodically announce the daytime act that consisted of a forum. There, citizens were informed about recent events and events or those that were going to happen shortly.

The newspaper format in use today formally emerged after the invention of the printing press in 1440, which allowed for the mass production of printed documents. The first printed journalistic publication was made in Vienna in 1529 and consisted of a sheet containing various news items. Beginning in 1580, multi-page newspapers were circulated.

Characteristics of the newspaper

The newspaper is characterized by:

  • Be printed on thin, easy-to-fold paper, even if it contains multiple pages. It is marketed on newsstands and magazines. A few are usually free to distribute.
  • Being published on an Internet site that usually offers free access to certain news. To read it in its entirety requires user subscription.
  • Maintain its publication frequency, which can be: daily, weekly or annually.
  • Have a certain format for the size of the pages. Among the most common are the 28 x 43 cm tabloid, 31.5 x 47 cm Berlin tabloid or 60 x 75 cm sheet.
  • Reach a large number of readers due to its varied content that is constantly updated, which has a journalistic analysis.
  • Be produced by an editorial formed by a multidisciplinary group of journalists, editors, directors and the production team, among others.

Newspaper structure

Newspaper structure

The structure of the newspaper is made up of the main body that includes different sections due to the amount and variety of information . Each newspaper organizes the name of each section, the number of pages for each module and their order of priority, according to its criteria. Among the most common sections are: police, politics, general information, international, editorial, among others.

In addition, there are supplements that consist of annexed sections dedicated to particular topics, such as sports , shows or travel. Supplements are published regularly or exceptionally in the face of an important event such as a historical date. For example: A newspaper with daily issue may have a different supplement for each day of the week and may have another supplement with a single issue for the anniversary of the birth of a hero.

A newspaper maintains visual characteristics that distinguish it and give it personality , such as the logo, the typeface style for the headlines, the headings and the body of the news. The front page is the front page of the newspaper that contains all the basic information about the medium and the most important news to attract attention and encourage reading the newspaper.

The selection of news to include in a newspaper is determined by current events and by the interests of each publisher. Although journalistic ethics is based on truth, transparency and honesty to convey real and verified information, sometimes the tone used by each medium manages to misrepresent an event.

Newspaper formats

Newspaper formats

Newspaper formats can be very varied and this is related to the type of machinery used for printing. Among the main formats, the following stand out:

  • Tabloid. It is the most common and smallest of all formats. It contains five columns and when closed it measures 28 x 43 cm.
  • Berliner. It is taller and slightly wider than the tabloid. Closed measures 31.5 x 47 cm.
  • Bed sheet. It is the standard size, the largest of all formats. When closed, it usually measures 60 x 75 cm.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Veronica is a culture reporter at Collaborative Research Group, where she writes about food, fitness, weird stuff on the internet, and, well, just about anything else. She has also covered technology news and has a penchant for smartphone stories. .

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