Maryland's first constitution, adopted by the 9th Provincial Convention on November 8, 1776, provided in its Declaration of Rights "That the liberty of the press ought to be inviolably preserved (Const. 1776, Article 38). That provision continues with elaboration down to the present Maryland Constitution of 1867 noting further "...that every citizen of the State ought to be allowed to speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that privelege." (Const. 1867, Article 40). Moreover, the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, constituting the first part of the Bill of Rights, stipulates that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . . ."

In Maryland, the first newspaper to be published was the Maryland Gazette printed in Annapolis by William Parks in September 1727. Though it has not maintained continuous printing since then, the Maryland Gazette still appears in a twice-weekly edition covering northern Anne Arundel County. Formerly based in Glen Burnie, it moved to Annapolis in May 2009.

In 1773, William Goddard started printing the Maryland Journal and the Baltimore Advertiser, the first newspaper in Baltimore. About a year later, William's sister, Mary Katharine Goddard, took over the newspaper while William set up the Constitutional Post system. In July 1775, Mary Katharine Goddard was named the first Postmaster of Baltimore (first female postmaster in the colonies) and it was around this time that she started printing the newspaper under her own name. In Jan. 1777, Mary printed the first version of the Declaration of Independence that listed most of the signers' names.

On Sept. 20, 1814, the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser ran the first printing of the "Defence of Fort McHenry," later known as the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Today, the largest newspaper in Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun, first went to print on May 17, 1837. Founded by Arunah S. Abell, the newspaper remained family-run until 1910. It is believed that Abell did the typesetting himself for what was then a small newspaper and maintained only a handful of employees for the first printing. Now, the Baltimore Sun is read by more than 1 million people each week.

Other outlets for newspapers are on the Internet. While nearly all newspapers today maintain a website, some are web only. One example the Baltimore Brew, a web-only news source began in 2009, and focuses on City-related issues.


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