Newsreels were short news films often shown along with animated cartoons before a main theatrical film. Disasters, celebrities and animals were the usual fare; none of it was terribly complicated or deep.
Pathe — The company was founded as Société Pathé Frères (Pathé Brothers Company) in Paris, France on 28 September 1896, by the four brothers Charles, Émile, Théophile and Jacques Pathé. During the first part of the 20th century, Pathé became the largest film equipment and production company in the world, as well as a major producer of phonograph records.
One of the first was “A Working Dog” from 1908.
This Pathe newsreel is of the 1937 Hindenberg disaster.
Movietone — Originally Fox News, founded in 1919, then Fox Movietone News 1928 – 1963. A branch was British Movietone News. This 1940
Hearst Metrotone newsreels began in 1919 as part of the Hearst International News Service. They were produced at Universal Studios in Hollywood. This one is a 1931 interview with Mahatma Gandhi.
March of Time newsreels were created by Time-Life company in the 1935 – 1951, somewhat contemporaneous with the same series on radio. This newsreel is an excellent montage of newsreel subjects and techniques.
Paramount — 1927-1957
Universal — 1929 – 1967