In 1704, John Campbell, Boston’s postmaster, turned his handwritten newsletter into a printed half-sheet, called it the Boston News-Letter, and founded the first continuously published newspaper in the Colonies. He soon found a circulation of around 250 eager subscribers. “Royal proclamations and international news appeared first, followed by news from other colonies, and finally local news,” writes the journalist Tom Standage in Writing on the Wall: Social Media—the First 2,000 Years.

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