March 29, 2023 3:04 PM

The Telegraph was originally founded in 1855 and is one of the oldest and most popular newspapers in the UK. Also known as The Daily Telegraph, it’s a national British newspaper that is published in London and distributed to readers all over the world. Since it was created over 160 years ago, it has developed into an award-winning multimedia news brand and is a trusted choice for many readers. In this article, we’re going to explore how journalism has changed and developed over the years and what has made the news what it is today. If you want to find great deals on your newspaper subscription, try this Telegraph discount code that can save you money. 

The telegraph

Interestingly, the newspaper we’ve mentioned takes its name from the same invention that caused a major breakthrough in the communication of information between journalists and other professionals. The first overseas telegraph services were used as early as the 1840s when it became the standard way to send urgent messages until it was later replaced by other telecommunication systems. 

Prior to this, journalists would have to use mail services to share information and news throughout the world.

It is reported that in the early 1860s it could take up to 16 days for a news story to be sent from one American city to another, so by the time it reached another country, it would definitely be old news!

How did the early telegraphs work?

The original telegraphy systems operated through the connection of wires between two or more geographic locations. Various systems were invented, however, only two of them were successfully developed and used. The first type was the Cooke and Wealdstone telegraph which was invented in 1937. 

The Morse code invention

This led to the development of another system using a telegraph sounder to make a ‘clicking’ sound and the Morse code which was invented in 1838 made it possible to transfer the very first text messages using a single wire.

This method was not used by journalists until around 1861 when telegraph offices were created, originally in the USA to deliver written messages to reporters, often by bicycle. Following this, many newspaper companies purchased their own telegraph machines to get their hands on the latest news stories.

This was a huge breakthrough because newspapers and radio stations could now have reporters and correspondents across the globe and international information was sent and received by foreign countries using the overseas telegraph services. 

The Telegraph newspaper Timeline

  • In 1855, founder Arthur B. Sleigh gave the newspaper its original name “The Daily Telegraph and Courier”.
  • The newspaper’s motto “was, is, and will be” was introduced in 1858 and has been printed on every version ever since.
  • In 1882 the company moved to its new headquarters located in Fleet Street, London. 
  • The outbreak of World War II was reported by Clare Hollingworth and was named “the scoop of the century”.
  • 1994 saw the launch of the online version of the paper. This marked the beginning of online journalism and was another important breakthrough in technology, being the first web-based newspaper in Europe.  

British Newspaper of the year 2009, 1996, and 1993. If you’re keen to discover other newspapers and publications that have won official awards, you can visit the National Press Awards listings on the Society of Editors website


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