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The traditional locations for news transmission and discussions about it were ports, marketplaces, inns paully do starb jorg starcz ein gastgeb, der , lavierte und kolorierte Federzeichnung, 1470, unbekannter Künstler, in: Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Band 1, Nürnberg 1426–1549; Bildquelle: Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg, Amb.

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European courts and cities, but also the church, merchants' societies, religious orders and universities, had been establishing messenger systems ever since the late Middle Ages.

From the 15th and 16th century onwards, such messenger systems regularly kept selected correspondence sites in contact with each other.

Whereas the radius of communication of a village tavern was generally small, hostels on major roads collected news from considerably more distant places.

In At these gathering places, people would arrive with either something to report or something they wanted to learn more about.

It was not script, but rather the invention of the more economical storage medium paper that caused the oral transmission of news to be eventually replaced to some degree.

The increasing circulation of initially confidential diplomatic messages due to dissemination among friends, secretaries and clients became a problem for political agents relying on secrecy.

Nevertheless, the boundary between news and rumour is blurred, because a rumour can become news at any time, especially if it turns out to be true.

This led to the development of transnational connections between locations that were temporally and spatially linked over wide geographical and cultural expanses.

A comprehensive network for news reporting was still missing, however.

The increasing regularity and frequency of news reporting, as well as its growing public nature, are especially notable features of its development.

As a specific form of information, it is circulated and consumed in a variety of ways – verbally (in oral or written form), graphically, gesturally or symbolically.

These had varying degrees of exclusiveness as well as increasingly shorter intervals and delivered the news in ever greater intermittency to reading publics of differing size.

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