Friday / Weekend Open Lines

The nation’s first daily newspaper, the short-lived Pennsylvania Evening Post, began publication on this date in 1783, printed by Benjamin Towne in Philadelphia. Americans’ hunger for news was such that by 1850, there were some 250 dailies. The number of newspapers peaked around a hundred years ago, when there were 2,600 dailies published across the nation, with a circulation of over 24 million. Today, with increasing competition from the Internet, television, and radio, the number of daily newspapers in the U.S. has dropped to just under 1,400. In year 2000, there were almost 56 million daily subscribers. Within a decade, that number dropped by 10 million, but newspaper industry revenue exceeds $47 billion per year. Profile America is in its17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.