Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
History of Books and Writing
All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't

History of Books and Writing
History of Books and Writing

All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't
Print All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.73

     challenging words:    human-interest, newsgathering, printing, maniac, entice, lizard-like, latter, documentation, subscription, timely, literacy, publicly, sensational, despite, historical, twentieth
     content words:    New York Times, Vlad Dracula, Count Dracula, After Gutenberg, Publick Occurences, Boston News-Letter, Revolutionary War, New York, Thomas Jefferson, United States Constitution

All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't
By Colleen Messina

1     One popular newspaper, The New York Times, has the slogan "All the news that's fit to print," but some early news pamphlets definitely didn't follow that motto. They relied on sensational tales to entice people to read their pamphlets. An early German news pamphlet had stories about a bizarre Transylvanian maniac named Vlad Dracula. It documented his bizarre, scary life. The character was later known as Count Dracula!
2     Some newsletters began during the Renaissance in Europe. Merchants circulated handwritten documents that described the latest wars, economic news, and human-interest stories. After Gutenberg invented the printing press in the fifteenth century, printed newsletters (like the one about Count Dracula) appeared in the late 1400s. Many "news sheets" in the 16th century even had illustrations. One paper in Spain reported the appearance of strange, lizard-like creatures. The newspaper added painted pictures of these creatures in color! We will never know if the creatures existed, but they certainly made for entertaining copy.
3     Despite their popularity in Europe, newspapers had a rocky start in colonial America. A newspaper called Publick Occurrences was printed in Boston in 1690. Perhaps it documented things too publicly. Authorities arrested the publisher and destroyed all copies of the newspaper. Remember, this was before the Bill of Rights made freedom of the press a basic right in America. The government did support a colonial newspaper called the Boston News-Letter in 1704, but it had a limited circulation. By the Revolutionary War, over two dozen papers circulated through the colonies. New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston, Massachusetts, became the centers of the printing industry. Many brilliant proponents of the Revolutionary War used newspapers to convince the public to fight for independence from England.
4     The new United States had forty-three newspapers by 1783, and the press played an important role in the new nation. Thomas Jefferson enjoyed newspapers tremendously and wrote in 1787, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter, but I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them." The ratification of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution made freedom of the press a guarantee.
5     An explosion of printed material followed the ratification of the Bill of Rights. At first, only rich people could afford newspapers because a one-year subscription cost about as much as a working man made in a week! In the 1830s, the "Penny Press" became popular because new technology made it possible to print a newspaper and sell it for just one penny. The new country had 346 newspapers by 1814, and literacy rates skyrocketed because common people had cheap, interesting things to read.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't
Leave your feedback on All the News That's Fit to Print - and Some That Isn't   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

History of Books and Writing
             History of Books and Writing

More Lessons
             High School Reading Comprehensions and High School Reading Lessons

Social Studies
             Social Studies

    United States History and Theme Units  
    American Government  
    Ancient America  
    Ancient China  
    Ancient Egypt  
    Ancient Greece  
    Ancient India  
    Ancient Mesopotamia  
    Ancient Rome  
    Canadian Theme Unit  
    Country Theme Units  
    Crime and Terrorism  
    European History: 1600s-1800s  
    Famous Educators  
    Grades 2-3 Social Studies Wendy's World Series  
    History of Books and Writing  
    History of Mathematics  
    How Can I Help?  
    Inventors and Inventions  
    Middle Ages  
    World Religion  
    World War I  
    World War II  
    World Wonders  

Copyright © 2018 edHelper