On this day 400 years ago the first Dutch newspaper was published. Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, &c. was the first Dutch newspaper and published weekly. The paper does not reveal the name of the printer or the publisher, but based on similar papers published later, it is thought that Joris Veseler was the printer and Caspar van Hilten its editor and publisher.
It was a regular weekly publication. It can be called the first broadsheet paper, because it was issued in folio-size. Before this, news periodicals had been pamphlets in quarto-size.
The Courante appeared until about 1672 and was then merged with the Ordinarisse Middel-Weeckse Courant and the Ordinaris Dingsdaegse Courant into the Amsterdam Courant, which eventually merged with De Telegraaf in 1903.
Stanley Morison and some other authors regard the Courante as the world’s first proper newspaper. In their view, the earlier news periodicals, such as the German Relation: aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien and the Avisa Relation oder Zeitung, were not newspapers but pamphlets or newsbooks. They argue that the Courante was the first to express the typographic conventions that have been associated with newspapers ever since.
Two years after starting the Courante, Veseler printed the first newspaper in English for the publisher Pieter van den Keere. It followed the format of the Courante.
After the very beginning, English news periodicals reverted to the pamphlet form. However, in 1665 the Oxford Gazette was published following the style of the Dutch Courante and that ended the era of the newsbooks in England.
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