Colonial Press Era

History Summary

American Journalism started with an era known as the colonial press. This era stretched from the late 1600’s all the way to the start of the Revolutionary War. During this time many early publishers went through hardships and roadblocks, so they can print their paper. Some of the hardships were the cost of producing the paper, troubles with the British government and content. Each of these hardships posed a problem for many publishers during colonial times. Also, many of these early papers were expensive and only the rich as well as the educated people in society could afford the paper and read it.  Some publishers of the newspapers during colonial times were sometimes persecuted by the British government because of the content that was being produced. The first American Newspaper was the Publick Occurrences.  It was published on September 29, 1690 by a man called Benjamin Harris. The Publick Occurrences was a type of tabloid newspaper.  His paper was quickly shut down by the British government because they did not like his content. Content during this time was also very poor.  Some papers would sometimes copy the content from European newspapers.  There were many other papers that were also published. Some of these newspapers were The Boston News-Letter and The New York Weekly Journal. The publisher of The New York Weekly Journal was a man named John Peter Zenger. Zenger is famous for his case on seditious libel against the Governor William S. Cosby. He was put into trial and surprisingly won.  His victory played a big roll during the creation of the U.S. constitution. Zenger’s victory is one of the main reasons we have the first amendment today. Overall, it was a tough time to be a journalist and own a newspaper during the colonial era.

Game Summary

For our game we are planning a board game that will try to simulate what it is like to run a paper in colonial times. Players will have territory on a board, or “distribution area”, and will try to expand their number of readers. At the same time they will have to try to maintain readership in their area as other players will try to move in on them.

They will have to face decisions and setbacks such as costs or public officials out to get them.

The board will be split in to four equal places. The blocks will be either questions or “occurrences”.

Occurrences are random events that happen to the players. sometimes they are good, or they can be bad for the player. Such as costing money or losing out on territory.

The questions are used to allow players to win squares. The squares represent the different areas of the city that the players are trying to  compete for. When players enter a foreign territory they have to answer questions to gain a foothold in the territory. The idea is that players will have to prove to the residents that they are knowledgeable.

Players start the game with a certain amount of money.  Every turn the players receive income from their territory. When a player lands on a spot in  enemy territory they will have to pay to challenge for the spot. If they answer incorrectly they get nothing. If they win they they gain a “foothold” in the area. Each spot gives the owner a certain amount of income. If a enemy has a foothold on a spot they income for that spot is split between the owner and the occupying player.

Owners of territory can challenge occupying players in one of two ways. If they land on the occupied spot or if they are on their Home Base. From the home base the player can challenge for any occupied spot in their territory.  The owner of a territory wins back a occupied spot if they are able to correctly answer a question. If the owner answers the question they regain the spot. If they are incorrect they lose the spot entirely. If this happens the spot is entirely controlled by the opposing player, who now gains the full income from the spot.

The original owner can regain income from their spot, but must challenge and pay for the spot like they would any other enemy territory.

With income the player must pay for a certain level of upkeep on all property. As they gain more property they must pay for more. A player loses player can no longer pay for their property or has all of their property taken over.


Project Disclaimer

This is a blog for a school project. All of the information that is post on this blog is for the purpose of a school project.


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