Age has little to do with the value of a collectible, since the price of just about everything is decided by supply and demand, with the latter being the far more significant factor. If, let us say, just four issues survive of a certain newspaper, but there is only one collector who wants one, then the demand is satisfied and remaining specimens are of low value in spite of their great rarity. If however a hundred people want the same item, then its value grows as these collectors seek to outbid one another for its possession. And if a thousand specialists simply must have one for their collection, then the piece can grow to be of substantial value. This helps to explain why, for example, I can offer a two hundred year old British newspaper for $10.00, while an original edition of the famous headline issue of the 1948 has a value today of over $500.00. Because of the publicity surrounding that newspaper -we have all seen the famous AP photo of a beaming Harry Truman holding aloft a copy- the few that were not immediately recalled by the paper are very much in demand, while there are relatively few American collectors interested at present in the "atmosphere" content of the much older newspaper.
A most collectible newspaper is one which reports a major event, for example, a Presidential assassination, in the city where it occurred, and on the same date it happened; or, if such a paper does not exist, the first newspaper to contain a report of the event. The power of such reporting is extraordinary, and the greatest appeal of the hobby. The news reports remain as dramatic as the day they first appeared; perhaps even more so, for the modern collector has the benefit of seeing how that event affected the future. Similarly a newspaper with a lengthy, detailed account or a striking graphic representation of an important news story on the front page will be far more valuable than one with a short account on the inside pages. The most attractive Page One layouts are considered the most suitable for framed display, which is a popular use of collectible newspapers today. Unfortunately it was the practice of many old time editors to fill their front pages with advertising or fiction until the Civil War era, making the earliest front page reports even more uncommon and valuable today.
Newspaper terminology Masthead/title piece the newspaper’s title displayed on the front page. Skyline this is an information panel on the front page that tells
Very old newspapers tend to be found in surprisingly attractive condition. Because they are made of organic material interactive with its environment, those that survive have done so because they were specially cared for. All the issues in our catalogs, for example, are in fine or better condition, evidencing normal handling and storage, but not suffering any defects, damage, or losses. Many have old inked subscribers' names or address labels on the front page, which is not considered detracting and can provide valuable help in tracing their provenance. There may be some light "foxing," that is, brown spots created by natural impurities in the paper or by fungi. This is quite normal for ephemera, and does not detract from the total attractive appearance of the papers. Most items, as noted above, are "disbound," carefully removed from volumes in which they were once preserved, with no disfiguring damage. All these factors are quite representative of how you will find old newspapers that are still in collectible condition. Time, unfortunately, has not been so kind to all old newspapers; I have seen numerous rare old papers literally crumbling to dust because they were not properly preserved. Papers in this condition have no value to collectors and I do not stock or sell them.
Hold up a sample front page from a selected newspaper. Ask students what they notice about the format that is different from other texts they read (e.g., black and white ink, graphics, headline, column format).
Divide the students into groups of three to four members. Explain to the students that they will explore a newspaper, paying attention to the layout and format. Instruct students to study the front page first and discuss what different parts they notice.
Ask each group to report back to the whole class what members noticed was contained on the front page. Make a list of parts on the board. (e.g., title, headlines, pictures or graphics, captions, date, subtitles, table of contents/index, etc.). Students should notice similarities between different newspapers.
Discuss with the class how newspapers use a standard format.
In their groups, have students continue to explore copies of newspapers. What kinds of things do they notice? Students should begin to identify sections and features that are specific to newspapers. Have the groups again report to the whole class what types of items they noticed in their paper. Continue keeping the list of items on the board. (Additional items may include: editorials, cartoons, horoscope, local news, weddings, classifieds, advertising, etc.)
Explain to the class that people read newspapers differently than other types of texts. Discuss how people read newspapers. Reading a newspaper matches people's interests in certain things. They scan headlines, subtitles, and images to see if the story interests them or not.
Read some sample headlines from newspapers. Ask, "How many of you would be interested in reading this story?"
For homework, have students ask their family members what newspapers they read regularly and what sections they read most often. Give an example of your own newspaper reading habits. (For example, "First I check the weather to help me decide what to wear to school. Then I go to the local news to see what is happening in my town. Finally, I scan the headlines to see what is happening in the world. If I have time, I start the crossword puzzle.")
Newspapers with famous headlines have been reproduced as historical souvenirs and are abundant at flea markets and general antique shops. All should be considered suprious until authenticated. The originals are quite uncommon and almost never come to light at such locations. Since the recent movie, the most abundandant sinking reproduction newspaper is the of April 16, 1912, followed the and , all with the April 16 date and all made in the middle 1980's by a newspaper replica company in Missouri called "Historic Reissues" or one in Washington named "M.C. Associates".
In the computer lab, students should complete final story revisions. They may then begin the newspaper layout using appropriate software. The includes an option for creating a newspaper. Each editorial staff works together to complete their newspaper section.
Note: 8 ½ X 11 size pages are optimal. They can be printed and copied back to back on 11 X 17 paper that can be folded like a real newspaper. The completed paper must have an even number of pages for this format.
Pictures can be drawn or pasted into the layout. Depending on the available resources, pictures can also be scanned or downloaded from a digital camera. Tell students to play around with fonts and columns. They should experiment and be creative!
Once pages are completed, they should be printed. The editorial staff should do a final reading for errors. Pages are then submitted to the teacher for publishing.
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