Penny Press' Emergence

Since the 1830s

In the 1830s, as printing technology and public literacy advanced, mass-circulation of cheap newspapers and magazines emerged and found its market among wider and less educated audience. 1833, Benjamin Day began selling copies of his New York Sun for a penny—far less than the five or six cents of a typical paper—and selling a brand of lurid, popular journalism. Unlike the politically motivated papers of the last century, this “New Journalism” focused on crime and human-interest stories. Thereafter, the ideal of affordable even free news was gradually taken for granted and the industry soon required large amounts of reporters forming the profession of journalism.


B. Kovarik. Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age. (The Continuum International Publishing Group, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4411-9495-4), p. 48.