Historically, printed words have provided major sources of information and influence throughout the world. The first newspapers, published in the seventeenth century by the Germans and Dutch, contained a mixture of political news and scandal. By the beginning of the nineteenth century newspapers were competing for U. S. readers with sensational headlines and sometimes misleading images. The press has continued to evolve and change throughout the years, passing through a time when the printed word was a major source of information to the present age of declining numbers of subscribers. The field of communication has become increasingly diversified during this technological age resulting in fewer people depending on print sources. Most of the book is devoted to the history of newspapers in the U. S. and Britain and to the assumption that presenting factual, unbiased reports should be their mission. The underlying theme concludes that this has never been the case. Newspapers and magazines have political biases and they slant or omit news items that might offend advertisers. Appropriate full-color photographs aid in understanding. Questions and activities designed to engage the reader appear in boxes throughout the text. It includes a glossary, bibliography, list of websites, and an index. A good choice for middle grade research. Part of the "Getting the Message" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.