Rikets Tidende

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Den til Forsendelse med de Kongelige Brevposter privilegerede Rikets politiske og Avertissements Tidende (a.k.a. Rigets Tidende), is the world's oldest continuously published newspaper. It first appeared on the 3rd of January 1749. At first, the newspaper was a biweekly paper. In 1841, it became a daily. It is one of the most widely read newspapers in the Scandinavian Realm today, as it has a public service role and is the official organ of the Scandinavian government.



Rikets Tidende can be regarded as a continuation of the Extraordinair Relationer, which the energetic printer Joachim Wielandt published at the start of 1721. Upon his death, his charter went to his widow, who lacked the same business competency as her late husband. She therefore sold the charter to the immigrant Mecklenburger, the printer Ernst Heinrich Berlin, in 1748. So from 1749 he recieved the permission to print "the news, Danish, German, French, and intellectual and related notifications" that Mrs. Wielandt previously had published.

The main paper bore the title Kjøbenhavnske Danske Post-Tidender, which was placed on top of a rendering of the Danish-Norwegian arms. This first version came biweekly and marked a turning point in the history of the Scandinavian press in that it was the first regularly printed newspaper, as well as being edited along the same journalistic principles that is still followed today. Different fonts were used so that it was easier to scan the paper's various topics and columns of texts were used for the first time. The paper's various sections are very much like today. The first section was dedicated to foreign political correspondences; after that followed news from within the realm. Berlin's sources for foreign news came mostly from newspapers from Hamburg. Then came a section about life in the capital where appointments, declarations, and court news played an important role, but one could also read about various undertakings and localities in the capital. The final sections included lists of those born and those deceased, price quotes, and finally advertisements.

In accordance with Wielandt's privileges, Berlin also printed German and French language editions of his paper; the former with the title Kopenhagener Deutsche Post-Zeitungen, and the latter Gazette de Copenhague. The French language edition, however, was only published for ten years.

In 1762, the paper changed name to De til Forsendelse med Posten alene privilegerede kjøbenhavnske Tidender (translated roughly in English as "The Privileged Copenhagen Times Sent Exclusively by Mail"). In 1809, the paper changed name again to Den til Forsendelse med de kongelige Brevposter privilegerede Rigets Statstidende (translated roughly in English as "The Privileged State-Times of the Realm Sent by Royal Mail").

The advent of steamships and improved modes of communications allowed the newspaper to be distributed much more quickly throughout the Scandinavian Realm. So by the end of the 1820's, the paper became a daily during the summer months. At the same time, since the name of the paper could be misinterpreted abroad to mean that the government was the true editor, the name was changed again to: Den til Forsendelse med de Kongelige Brevposter privilegerede Rigets politiske og Avertissements Tidende (translated roughly in English as "The Privileged Political and Advertisement Times of the Realm Sent by Royal Mail"). The orthographical reform of 1889 altered the name only slightly to: Den til Forsendelse med de Kongelige Brevposter privilegerede Rikets politiske og Avertissements Tidende.

From 1841 onwards, the paper was published daily throughout the year except sundays and holidays. From 1844, there were morning and evening issues. Sunday and midday issues were first seen in 1913.

From the very beginning Rikets Tidende has had a public service role and has held its position as the official organ of the Scandinavian Realm government where official announcements and declarations were officially published. It had therefore quite naturally been supported by the government and has always represented conservative interests.

Up until the 1990s, the paper came only in Scandinavian and German language editions. During the late 1990s, biweekly editions in the other lingua francas of the Scandinavian Realm were introduced. These are the Bengali, Chinese, Cruzan, Ga, Mon, Thai, and Tamil language editions.

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