A media outlet is defined as a publication or broadcast medium that transmits news, feature stories, entertainment, or other information to the public through various distribution channels, including, without limitation, newspapers; magazines; radio; and broadcast, cable, or satellite television. The oldest media form is newspapers.
The Hartford Courant, established in 1764, is the oldest continuously published newspaper. Since newspapers are the oldest form of media, this makes The Hartford Courant the oldest media outlet in America.
The Hartford Courant is recognized as the country's oldest newspaper in continuous publication by Connecticut Humanities. It is also defined as the nation's oldest newspaper of continuous publication by the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. The Connecticut Museum of Culture and History describes The Hartford Courant as the longest continually published newspaper in the United States.
Founded prior to American independence, on October 29, 1764, New Haven printer Thomas Green began publishing The Hartford Courant (then known as The Connecticut Courant) out of the Heart and Crown Tavern in Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1913, with its daily edition in high demand, the paper published its first-ever Sunday edition. The paper was one of the leading supporters of Abraham Lincoln's presidential campaign. When Lincoln won the presidency, The Hartford Courant reported the victory with the headline, "VICTORY, VICTORY, WE'VE GOT 'EM."
Throughout the decades that followed, Connecticut residents repeatedly turned to The Hartford Courant for coverage of the military conflicts erupting across the globe, the rapid commercial and political transformations occurring at home, and the country’s foray into outer space.
The paper not only kept readers around the country informed on important local, national, and international events for over two and half centuries, but access to its well-preserved archival resources provides important insight into life in the U.S. dating back to its very conception.
Although its headquarters in Hartford, CT was closed in December of 2020, the newspaper continues in operation as the oldest media company with reporters covering stories in the city of Hartford and state of Connecticut. Tribune Publishing, the company that owns the paper, told employees that it would “close our Broad Street office, with no plan to find us a new one.”
As of October 2020, Hartford Courant outsources the newspaper printing to Springfield Republican located in Massachusetts. With this continued operation The Hartford Courant still holds the distinction as the oldest media company in America. It remains the largest daily newspaper in the state of Connecticut.