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Transcript of Newspaper
Are Newspapers Dead?
100 B.C.E Acta Diurna (actions of the day)
1641-Diurnals (Daily newspaper)
Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick
Case of Peter Zenger
1791-The First Amendment to the Constitution
1798- Alien and Sedition Acts
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
National Daily Newspapers
"Newspapers were at the center of our nation's drive for independence and have along history as the people's medium "
Large Metropolitan Dailies
Circulation of big-city dailies has dropped over the past 30 years
Chicago Daily news closed its doors even though they had the 6th highest circulation in the country
Large metropolitan dailies that are succeeding have used a number of strategies to cut costs and to attract and keep more suburban-oriented readers
New York Times is a special large metropolitan daily
-There are specifics that are altering the nature of the medium and its relationship with its audiences:
- Loss of competition with the industry
- Evolution of newspaper readership
1. What role did the newspaper play in American history?
2. What effect did the newspaper have on other media outlets?
3. Are newspapers dying or thriving? Give examples.
4. Explain the effects of convergence on newspapers.
5. Give examples of forms of conglomeration done by newspapers.
Conglomeration: Hypercommercialism, Erosion of the Firewall, and Loss of Mission
Loss of Competition
Suburban and Small-Town Dailies
Newspapers have become suburbanized just like most of the nation
Since 1985, the number of suburban dailies has increased by 50%
Small-town dailies serve as suburban cousins to large metropolitan papers
If there is no big-city competition, the small town paper can serve as the heart of the community
Weeklies and Semiweeklies
46 million newspapers sold daily
44% read daily
69% read at least once a week
WWII changed the newspaper-reader relationship
Number of daily newspapers continues to drop
100 year old newspapers closing down print operation
News & Feature Services
Ethnic press is papers, often in a foreign language, aimed at minority, immigrant, and non-English readers
130 us cities are served by at least 1 Spanish language publication
First, Big dailies have realized that to be successful, they need to reach an increasingly fragmented audience
Second, 18% of the population is Hispanic or Latino and this is the fastest growing minority group
Third, newspapers must identify closely to their immediate locales
African Americans represent 12% of the population and represent the 2nd largest group of newspaper readers
250 dailies , weeklies, and semiweeklies aim specifically at African Americans
Trends & Convergence in Newspaper Publishing:
• Dramatic decline in competition that has taken 2 forms: loss of competing papers, concentration of ownership
• In 1903, 502 American cities had 2 or more competing dailies, today, fewer than 20 have separate competing papers
• Very few cities can support more than one paper
• Congress attempted to reverse this trend by using the 1907 Newspaper Preservation Act which led to
joint operating agreements
• JOA’s permit a failing paper to merge most aspects of its business with a successful local competitor as long as their editorial and reporting operations remain separate. There are 6 cities that currently have JOAs.
• Editorial diversity became a concern, cities with one newspaper only have one editorial voice.
• We must realize, not all chains run alike. Profit vs. Service
Typically we think of newspapers as a local medium
The Wall Street Journal
Older and more respected
Founded in 1889 by Charles Dow and Edward Jones
Main focus is the world of business
Average income of readers $150,000, upscale advertisers
Founded in 1982 and called itself “The Nation’s Newspaper”
Originally it was light-hearted and depended on style rather than substance
This shows that the readers enjoy the mix of short, lively, up beat stories; colorful graphics; state-by-state news and sports briefs; and liberal use of easy to read illustrated graphs and tables
• Due to conglomeration, pressure increased on newspapers to turn a profit. This is made apparent in 3 ways:
o Hypercommercialism: (increasing the amount of advertising & mixing commercial with noncommercial)
o Erasure of distinction between ads & news
o Loss of journalistic mission
• Firstly, Papers use hypercommercialism to sell ad space on front pages (EX: USA Today, New York Times, Orange County Register)
• Secondly, the quest for profits at all costs is eroding the Firewall (barrier between newspapers’ editorial & ad missions)
• PG. 87, Steve, Proctor, a deputy who manages for sports and features at the Baltimore Sun, said “It used to be if you had a newspaper in town you were able to make a steady profit. Now, like so many other things in the world, newspapers are more at the whim of opinions of Wall Street analysts. There’s a lot more pressure to increase the profit margin of the paper, and so that has led to a lot more interplay between newsroom and the business side of the paper.”
o Newspapers are abandoning their traditional mission, to be a journalist for the people. They are meant to find and run the great stories yet have been distracted from doing so. This will cause newspapers to die. They fill their papers will bland features, are now flat and generic, ambitious writing has disappeared.
Convergence with the Internet
• PG. 88, Barron’s online communist Howard Gold said, “A crisis of confidence has combined with a technological revolution and structural economic change to create what can only be described as a perfect storm. Print’s business model is imploding as younger readers turn toward free tabloids and electronic media to get news.”
o Newspapers are failing to fight the storm. This “crisis of confidence” drives owners and their investors to cut out characteristics, such as journalism, that once defined newspapers.
• Only 12% of American newspaper readers between the ages of 10 and 34 years old read the printed paper while the other 79% access newspaper read content online and through mobile devices.
• Internet empowers readers to control and interact with the news, in essence becoming their own editors in chief
• The internet provides more information, more depth, and at a faster speed
o As a result, traditional newspapers are converging
Have prospered because advertisers have followed them to the suburbs
National and international news can always be found on the internet, but local and regional news is specific to that area
Gives high school sports, obituaries, and the police record
Keeps people in touch with their communities
Modern Technology and Changes in Newspaper Readership
Alternative press is typically weekly, free papers emphasizing event listings, local arts advertising, and “eccentric” personal classified ads
Hard copies have been declining since most of the information can be found on the internet
Commuter papers are free dailies designed for younger commuters
Modeled after European newspaper
Reasoning behind these
First, these readers represent a valuable demographic, the newspapers bread-and-butter financial base
Second, the big dailies hope these young readers will develop the daily newspaper reading habit
Much of the 35% of the newspaper that is not advertising space is filled with content provided by outside sources, specifically the news and feature services
News services collect news and distribute it to their members
Today’s members are 3 times more likely to be a broadcast outlet than a newspaper
Feature services are clearinghouses for the work of columnists cartoonists, and other creative individuals, providing their work to newspapers and other media outlets
Newspapers prosper financially because advertisers recognize their worth as an ad medium
Print advertising is rapidly dropping because everything has become online
Yet, the $25 billion in annual sales suggests that advertisers find newspapers’ readers an attractive audience
First, the paper’s reach
Second, good demographics
Newspapers are local
• One in three Americans owns at least one e-reader or tablet and as of 2012 more than half of all U.S. mobile phone owners carried a smartphone
• 56% of tablet and e-readers and 51% of smartphone owners use their devices to read the news
• PG. 90, “There will always be improvements in technology, but it’s hard to beat a lightweight, portable, and high legible, multimedia-driven delivery vehicle. It’s a newspaper amplified.” – American Society of News Editors president Ken Paulson
• 80% of U.S. newspapers make their content available for mobile devices.
o The problem is how to lure young people to read newspapers.
• Some newspapers are now adding specific sections directed toward the younger generation and sometimes have articles written by young people.
• However, altering these sections effect the more serious parts of the paper.
o Stories get shorter causing the depth and detail to erase
• Soft news vs. Hard news: sensational stories that do not serve democratic function of journalism, stories that help citizens to make intelligent decisions and keep up with important issues of today.
• Softening of newspapers raises a media literacy issue
• PG 92 Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.”
o Would he write that about today’s newspapers?
- Newspapers help shape our understanding of ourselves and our world and they play in our democratic process
-Who can name five 2016 presidential candidates from either party?