Against the methodological background of historical discourse analysis, this paper traces some of the relevant factors that influenced the development of news discourse from the seventeenth to the twenty first century. In the seventeenth century the occasional news publications that were published in response to important events were replaced by more regular news publications. The structure of articles was generally narrative and chronological. The familiar inverted pyramid structure emerged from the beginning of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, mass media news discourse consists of an ever-increasing flood of information that is broken down into increasingly smaller snippets of information in the form of hypertextual and multi-modal information units.