Friday, December 4, 2015

On this day In European History: December 4th 1791
W.S. Bourne, a British citizen, published the world’s first Sunday newspaper, The Observer, now owned by the British company Guardian Media Group Limited.

By Luke Jeske

W.S. Bourne launched The Observer at the end of a century during which the British newspaper industry exploded. In the early 1700’s, most newspapers (and similarly styled pamphlets, bulletins, etc.) appeared monthly and attracted only a scant audience. By the time that The Observer was published in 1791, British printers distributed several million copies of newspapers annually. 
Bourne started his paper in order to reap some of the profits of this booming industry. However, he found himself struggling to earn back his initial investments. Bourne hired a new editor in 1807 and wiped his hands clean of the business when he sold the paper in 1814. The subsequent owners and editors of The Observer expanded the paper’s readership and covered the engaging, if often turbulent, news of the modern era.
The Observer, the first Sunday paper, continues to set new precedents. The editors and owners of The Observer created a blog in 2005, becoming the first newspaper to detail their internal decisions publicly online. Nor did the firsts stop there. In the same year, The Observer became the first newspaper to release podcasts. Innovation is an integral component of the media industry, whether that means launching a Sunday paper or starting a company blog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This Day in European History: December 1st, 1989
The End of Communism in East Germany 

By Shaila Kavrakova

On December 1, 1989, the communist regime in East Germany removed the monopoly of power from the East German constitution. Leading up to this day, East Germans had expressed much dissatisfaction with the communist regime of Eric Honecker, which was in part apparent by the mass exodus of people from East Germany. Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, eventually pushed for a new government and in October of 1989, Honecker was replaced by Egon Krenz, secretary for internal security issues.

Krenz restricted travel to the West in an attempt to end the exodus. This plan back fired on Krenz, as more East Germans decided to leave because of the restriction. In November, pressure intensified as Communism in the Soviet Republic and Eastern Europe began to fall apart. As a result, the East German government had no choice but to take down the Berlin Wall. A mass migration of East Germans instantly entered West Berlin. Gorbachev consulted with the United States, France, and Britain because of his worry for Germany’s future.

The communist regime finally surrendered its monopoly of power on December 1st and the section in the East German Constitution permitting sole power of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany was removed. This constitutional revision officially ended Communist rule in East Germany.