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A newsletter is a
printed Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabonidus. The e ...
or
electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics, the science of how to control electric energy in semiconductor * ''Electronics'' (magazine), a defunct American trade journal *Electronic storage, the storage of data using an electronic device *Electronic co ...
report containing
news News is information about current events. This may be provided through many different media: word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting, electronic communication, or through the testimony of observers and witnesses to events. New ...
concerning the activities of a
business Business is the practice of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a business name does not separa ...
or an
organization An organization or organisation (Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity—such as a company, an institution, or an association—comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose. The word is derived from ...
that is sent to its members, customers, employees or other subscribers. Newsletters generally contain one main topic of interest to its recipients. A newsletter may be considered
grey literature Grey literature (or gray literature) is materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, rese ...
. E-newsletters are delivered electronically via
e-mail Electronic mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronic (digital) version of, or counterpart to, mail, at a time when "mail" meant ...
and can be viewed as
spamming Spamming is the use of messaging systems to send multiple unsolicited messages (spam) to large numbers of recipients for the purpose of commercial advertising, for the purpose of non-commercial proselytizing, for any prohibited purpose (especial ...
if
e-mail marketing Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to ...
is sent unsolicited. The newsletter is the most common form of
serial publication In publishing and library and information science, the term serial is applied to materials "in any medium issued under the same title in a succession of discrete parts, usually numbered (or dated) and appearing at regular or irregular intervals wi ...
. About two-thirds of newsletters are internal publications, aimed towards employees and volunteers, while about one-third are external publications, aimed towards advocacy or special interest groups.


History

In ancient Rome, newsletters were exchanged between
officials An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority, (either their own or that of their su ...
or
friend Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an "acquaintance" or an "association", such as a classmate, neighbor, coworker, or colleague. In some cultures, the concept o ...
s. By the Middle Ages, they were exchanged between merchant families. Trader's newsletters covered various topics such as the availability and pricing of goods, political news, and other events that would influence trade. These commercial newsletters were in effect, the first "serious" outlet for news publishing, from which evolved
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can cover a wide variety of fields such as politics, business, sports an ...
s. The first full "newspaper" was ''
Relation of Strasbourg Johann Carolus (26 March 1575 − 15 August 1634) was a German publisher of the first newspaper, called ''Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien'' (Account of all distinguished and commemorable stories). The ''Relation'' is r ...
'', printed in 1609 by
Johann Carolus Johann Carolus (26 March 1575 − 15 August 1634) was a German publisher of the first newspaper, called ''Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien'' (Account of all distinguished and commemorable stories). The ''Relation'' is r ...
. Many rivals soon followed, such as the German ''
Avisa Relation oder Zeitung ''Avisa Relation oder Zeitung'' was one of the first news-periodicals in the world. It was published in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, in 1609. The printer/publisher was Lucas Schulte. The first issue states that the news had been collected from variou ...
'' and the Dutch ''
Nieuwe Tijdingen ''Nieuwe Tijdinghen'' (in English also known as the ''Antwerp Gazette'') is the contemporary name cataloguers and bibliographers have given to the first Flemish newspaper, which was published without a single fixed title. News was printed from acr ...
''. By the end of the 17th century, several newspapers were established all across Europe, and were often translated into other languages. By the late 17th century, several governments were censoring newspapers, which harmed their development. Wars, like the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was one of the longest and List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, most destructive conflicts in History of Europe, European history, lasting from 1618 to 1648. Fought primarily in Central Europe, an es ...
, also imposed restrictions on trade, which could lead to shortage of paper in addition to censorship. Government censorship remains in effect in several countries to this day, although several countries now have laws guaranteeing
freedom of the press Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the fundamental principle that communication and expression through various media, including printed and electronic media, especially published materials, should be considered a right to be exerci ...
.


Modern newsletters

Newsletter marketing is a form of
direct-to-consumer advertising Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) refers to the marketing and advertising of pharmaceutical products directly to consumers as patients, as opposed to specifically targeting health professionals. The term is synonymous primarily with the ad ...
. This is used by companies that want to send information directly to potential and existing customers. When received unsolicited, they can be seen as
spam Spam may refer to: * Spam (food), a canned pork meat product * Spamming, unsolicited or undesired electronic messages ** Email spam, unsolicited, undesired, or illegal email messages ** Messaging spam, spam targeting users of instant messaging ( ...
. Newsletters are also used by organizations to inform their members of ongoing developments.


Production

Many paper newsletters are letter-size
pamphlet A pamphlet is an unbound book (that is, without a hard cover or binding). Pamphlets may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths, called a ''leaflet'' or it may consist of a ...
s, sometimes made of side- or corner-stapled letter-size paper, sometimes of saddle-stitched (stapled) tabloid paper. Until the early 20th century, newsletters were generally produced by
letterpress Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing. Using a printing press, the process allows many copies to be produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. A worker comp ...
. The development of spirit duplicators and mimeograph machines in the early 20th century made short-run reproduction more economical. In the 1960s, xerographic photocopying became ubiquitous.


See also

*
Advertising Advertising is the practice and techniques employed to bring attention to a product or service. Advertising aims to put a product or service in the spotlight in hopes of drawing it attention from consumers. It is typically used to promote a ...
*
Periodical A periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example is a newspaper, but a magazine or a journal are also examples ...
* Serial


References


Further reading

* * {{Authority control
Newsletters A newsletter is a printed or electronic report containing news concerning the activities of a business or an organization that is sent to its members, customers, employees or other subscribers. Newsletters generally contain one main topic of in ...
Publications by format Grey literature