A newspaper of record
is a colloquialism that generally refers to a newspaper
that meets at least one of two criteria:
- high standards of journalism, the articles of which establish a definitive record of current events, for use by future scholars, and/or
- compliance with the legal requirements necessary to be recognized by the government as permitted to carry public or legal notices and have the notices be recognized as being made public by publication in that newspaper. Newspapers qualifying under this provision are sometimes also referred to as a newspaper of public record.
In its more common meaning, a newspaper of record is generally any public newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and typically unbiased.
Newspapers of record are usually found internationally at newsstands as representative of the publishing country's news. Newspapers of record generally have strong editors, and are allowed to hold independent views from those of their proprietor.
Some editors of top Western newspapers consider the term obsolete and meaningless, when used in its strict, "record keeping" meaning. In that meaning, the term is considered a legacy of a time when newspapers were required to print official bulletins, shipping schedules, and the like, before the advent of the more literary forms of modern journalism. Daniel Okrent
, at the time the public editor of The New York Times
, wrote on April 25 2004
that his paper is no longer a newspaper of record, and that this change is to be welcomed. In his view, the journalism of a "newspaper of record" is "as much stenography as reporting, as much virtual reprinting of handouts (in the form of verbatim transcripts of unexceptional speeches) as provocative journalism." John Geddes, the managing editor of The New York Times
, expressed this even more strongly: "I don't think there can be a 'paper of record'. The term implies an omniscient chronicler of events, an arbiter that perfectly captures the significance and import of a day in our lives. I don't work at that place.
List of newspapers of record
Newspapers that meet one or both of the abovementioned criteria to be considered a "newspaper of record" include (classified by language):
Newspapers of record in English, by country
However the political neutrality of this paper has recently been questioned with its editorial stance on political matters.
United Arab Emirates
Because of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Near v. Minnesota, the government does not (and can not) define certain papers as having a right to print, or otherwise promote, restrict, or license newspapers. Therefore, in the U.S. a newspaper of record is generally held to be any public newspaper that has a large circulation (in many states, public notices are required to be published in a paper "of general circulation"), professional editorial and news-gathering functions, and generally unbiased/objective reporting.
There are provisions whereby a newspaper may file an application to be recognized by the local government as a newspaper of public record for the purpose of publishing legal notices. This is generally done for revenue purposes, as certain types of legal publications (such as fictitious name registrations, mortgage and trust deed foreclosure and notices dealing with a lawsuit) may require publication in a newspaper that is not merely a de facto newspaper of record, but one that has specifically registered with the government as one and been recognized as such. However, being a "newspaper of public record" does not make a periodical into what is known as a "newspaper of record."
This is why, despite its having a large circulation, a newspaper such as The National Enquirer is not considered a newspaper of record (its news-gathering functions are not considered professional, nor are its stories considered unbiased, or even factual), while a paper such as the Washington Post, with a smaller circulation, is generally considered a newspaper of record.
Examples of some newspapers that many would regard as appropriate "newspapers of record" would likely include:
Newspapers of record in Arabic, by country
Israel & Occupied Territories
Newspapers of record in Dutch, by country
Newspapers of record in Portuguese, by country
Newspapers of record in French, by country
Newspapers of record in German, by country
Newspapers of record in Spanish, by country
Newspapers of record in Chinese, by territory
People's Republic of China
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Croatian newspapers of record
Danish newspapers of record
Finnish newspapers of record
Greek newspapers of record
Hebrew newspapers of record
Hungarian newspapers of record
Icelandic newspapers of record
Italian newspapers of record
Japanese newspapers of record
Korean newspapers of record
Malayalam newspapers of record
Norwegian newspapers of record
Serbian newspapers of record
Slovak newspapers of record
Swedish newspapers of record
Polish newspapers of record
Thai newspaper of record
Turkish newspapers of record
Ukrainian newspapers of record
Urdu newspapers of record
Vietnamese newspapers of record