As communion with the Sunday paper has replaced churchgoing, there is a tendency to forget that sermons had at one time been coupled with news about local and foreign affairs, real estate transactions, and other mundane matters. After printing, however, news gathering and circulation were handled more efficiently under lay auspices.

The pulpit was ultimated displaced by the periodical press, and the dictum “nothing sacred” came to characterize the journalist’s career.

The displacement of pulpit by press is significant not only in connection with secularization but also because it points to an explanation for the weakening of local community ties. To hear an address delivered, people have to come together; to read a printed report encourages individuals to draw apart.

Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in early Modern Europe