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Whereas historians tend to view events as causally related manifestations of underlying processes, news stories tend to describe events in isolation, and to exclude discussion of the relationships between them.News conspicuously describes the world in the present or immediate past, even when the most important aspects of a news story have occurred long in the past—or are expected to occur in the future.

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These proclamations all used a standard format, beginning with an exordium—"The worshipful and most esteemed gentlemen of the Eight of Ward and Security of the city of Florence make it known, notify, and expressly command, to whosoever, of whatever status, rank, quality and condition"—and continuing with a statement (narratio), a request made upon the listeners (petitio), and the penalty to be exacted from those who would not comply (peroratio).

Under the Ottoman Empire, official messages were regularly distributed at mosques, by traveling holy men, and by secular criers.

These criers were sent to read official announcements in marketplaces, highways, and other well-traveled places, sometimes issuing commands and penalties for disobedience.

The spread of news has always been linked to the communications networks in place to disseminate it.

Thus, political, religious, and commercial interests have historically controlled, expanded, and monitored communications channels by which news could spread.

Postal services have long been closely entwined with the maintenance of political power in a large area.Specially sanctioned messengers have been recognized in Vietnamese culture, among the Khasi people in India, and in the Fox and Winnebago cultures of the American midwest.The Zulu Kingdom used runners to quickly disseminate news. In most cases, the official spreaders of news have been closely aligned with holders of political power.To make the news, an ongoing process must have some "peg", an event in time which anchors it to the present moment.Perception of these values has changed greatly over time as sensationalized 'tabloid journalism' has risen in popularity.The genre of news as we know it today is closely associated with the newspaper, which originated in China as a court bulletin and spread, with paper and printing press, to Europe.

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