Newspapers & The News REFLECTIONS OF DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

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1 Newspapers & The News REFLECTIONS OF DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

2 A note on content Information from Mass Communication: Living in a Media World by Ralph E. Hanson

3 You ve likely heard Newspapers are dying OR Newspapers are already dead. DON T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

4 Case Study: The Washington Post No. 6 biggest newspaper in the country Still family owned by the Graham family until Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos purchased it on Aug. 6, 2013 $250 million price tag Bezos purchased the newspaper with his own personal fortune (it cost less than one percent of his personal wealth) Newspaper is now privately owned, not accountable to shareholders which many newspapers now are

5 Case Study: The Washington Post Bezos has a long- range view of business He didn t see success happening with sudden, overnight changes at The Washington Post First action was providing subscriptions to other big metro newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News and Minneapolis Star- Tribune His goal is to bring people back to The Washington Post website Understands readers are at the company core By Steve Jurvetson CC BY 2.0

6 Newspaper history Public Domain Curranto published in 1618 in Amsterdam, first English- language newspaper Newspapers published in Britain in 1622, distributed in coffeehouses Publik Occurences in 1690, only one issued published Colonial papers subject to British censorship Boston News- Letter, founded in 1704, first to publish multiple issues Followers of church reformers John Calvin and Martin Luther among earliest publishers

7 Newspaper history 1721: New England Courant Published by James Franklin, Ben s older brother First paper published without By Authority notice James sent to prison for doing so, Ben takes over publishing paper Public Domain

8 Early newspaper Characteristics Audience primarily wealthy elite Published by political parties, often with a slant Focused on opinion, not news Often bias Expensive, had small circulation Likelihood lower classes had access was low

9 Penny Press Revolution Benjamin Day s idea: The New York Sun - It shines for all Sold on the street for one or two cents Supported primarily by advertising (watershed) First papers to shift focus on news Journalistic objectivity developed as a way to appeal to larger audiences Public Domain

10 A Modern Democratic Society Rapidly growing number of papers Growing number of people working for wages U.S. transforming from rural to urban society, much thanks to Industrialization Newspapers promoted democratic market society as less control was exacted on high from government thanks for private owners People acquire the news habit, which is something news is still based on today (remember, the media is essential)

11 Case Study: Battle for New York City JOSEPH PULITZER WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST Public Domain James Edward Purdy U. S. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

12 Case Study: Battle for New York City Pulitzer fought in Civil War, went on to study law, then become a reporter for a German- language newspaper 1878 he purchased St. Louis Post and Dispatch, became paper s publisher, editor and business manager (doesn t happen these days) 1883 he bought failing New York World Public Domain

13 Case Study: Battle for New York City He boosted circulation from 15,000 to 250,000 in three years Twelve years after purchase, circulation was at 540,000 Changed appearance, used big photos and headlines Brought style and drama to journalism Created above the fold features and content Public Domain

14 Case Study: Battle for New York City Creation of front page defined style, distinctly different from rest of the newspaper Created concept of headlines on top of news stories, using action to bring readers in Audience target was women and immigrants Introduced Nellie Bly, a female journalist known for her antic- style journalism ( NELLIE IN MEXICO ), also known for covering factory workers Public Domain

15 Case Study: Battle for New York City Hearst came from a newspaper family, owned the San Francisco Examiner Acquired the New York Journal Used Pulitzer s techniques to compete against the World Public Domain

16 Case Study: Battle for New York City Yellow Journalism Takes its name from The Yellow Kid comic the World and Journal fought over Characterized by outlandish stories, stunts Shocking, sensationalized reporting Most well- known reporting on the Spanish- American War in Cuba Designed to sell newspapers Public Domain

17 Tabloids emerge Tabloids, smaller format for easier reading, different than broadsheet Smaller format newspapers written in a lively, often sensationalistic, style Tabloid jazz journalism era New York Daily News & New York Post Racy London tabloids Focused on sensationalism

18 Changing times Nothing is new, and the push toward radio broadcast had begun News could arrive in a more speedy fashion Newspapers in the 1930s argued radio stations shouldn t broadcast news (much like newspapers arguing news shouldn t break on Internet today) During World War II, Edward R. Murrow broadcasts about war from Europe Public Domain

19 Changing times 1940: Republican national convention covered by experimental NBC television network Murrow makes jump from radio to television 1948: CBS starts nightly 15- minute newscast 1963: CBS expands newscast to 30 minutes with Walter Cronkite 1979: ABC starts Nightline during Iranian hostage crisis

20 Changing times 1980: CNN goes on the air, promises not to sign off until the end of the world 1991: Gulf War makes CNN the place to go for current news 2000s: Fox News comes to dominate the cable news ratings with programming that takes a strong point of view

21 Top 10 daily newspapers, March 2013

22 Today s news business Few cities have competing daily newspapers Most newspapers owned by large chains, including The Record, which is owned by GateHouse Media, but was owned by News Corporation Largest chain is Gannett, publisher of USA Today, owns approximately 85 daily papers Newspaper revenues falling, worst problems at metropolitan papers Newspapers can be broken down into national, metro and community divisions

23 Case Study: USA Today (National) Lost $800 million in first decade 1993 started turning a profit Brought color and design to forefront Originally described as having News McNuggets Strengthens reporting in Mid- 2000s Daily circulation 1.8 million Has successful web site to go with national distribution of paper Changed focus for more success, now multiplatform

24 Case Study: Washington Post (Metro) Came to national prominence with Watergate reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein resulting in Nixon resignation 1980 low point for paper was Janet Cooke scandal with Jimmy s World story, which won a Pulitzer, but was fabricated (Woodward was one of her editors) Prominent source of government news Recently purchased by Amazon s Jeff Bezos Still covers the news of the district in addition to looking at larger area, national stories

25 Case Study: Lodi News- Sentinel (Community) Daily and weekly papers serving individual communities and suburbs LNS, The Record, Manteca Bulletin and Tracy Press local examples Publish news people can t get anywhere else Often where broadcast gets more localized content A local paper won t get scooped by CNN, according to Hanson LNS recently sold to a corporation after long being owned by Weybret family Local newspapers often not equipped for big coverage (Tracy Press/Sandra Cantu)

26 Alternative press ETHNIC NEWSPAPERS African American press dates back to at least 1827 Freedom s Journal, North Star published as emancipation papers Chicago Defender started as yellow journalism paper; still published in 2000s Spanish- language papers have growing advertising revenue; El Nuevo Herald, in Miami, Florida, is largest The Record published Vida en el Valle, Spanish- language newspaper

27 Alternative press GAY PRESS Gay papers started in late 1960s, copied on office equipment, distributed in gay bars Grew into profitable, professional papers Hit hard by 2009 recession Losing revenue as gay advertising moves increasingly into big media Hanson s secret that everything from the margin moves to the mainstream is applying in this market

28 Alternative press UNDERGROUND PAPERS Started in 1960s & 70s as underground papers Two major alt chains, New Times & Village Voice, merged in 2005 East Bay Express, based in Oakland, is independently owned Targeted at young, urban readership that big media are having a hard time reaching Most include large number of entertainment listings, often have calendar editors

29 So are newspapers dying? National newspapers profitable, holding onto circulation Biggest circulation falls at the beginning of the 2000s, into 2008 recession year Afternoon dailies have been closing for decades, few, if any, exist Several high profile dailies have closed in recent years, Seattle P- I goes all digital in 2009 Most of the job losses have been at major urban papers, but The Record only hired three new reporters this year after losing reporters for years Christian Science Monitor went to an all- online format

30 Are newspapers dying? Paywalls for online content Recordnet.com launched a paywallin 2010, with model on left Newspapers offering mobile sites, podcasts, social media feeds, most now have to engage Paying more attention to hyperlocalnews, including Patch sites Shift away from print papers to news "brands or media groups More focus on publishing on demand, rather than waiting for press run

31 Final thoughts Reality is that newspapers are no longer tied up in journalism You don t have to be a newspaper reporter do to journalism Good writing, though, is what will be the base of a media career Reporters now have to be Renaissance professionals, with a little bit of knowledge of everything If you re taking this class because you want a media career, don t think you can get employed without knowing all this history, it s essential for understanding media literacy today

32 Defining news HOW JOURNALISTS DECIDE WHAT STORIES TO TELL

33 Key factors TIMELINESS Story more likely to be covered if it it happening now PROXIMITY Community newspapers will cover more local events than larger metros, nationals Stockton paper not likely to cover news from Modesto (The Record was once more regionally focused, has reigned in the past six years) PROMINENCE People of higher news value often get more coverage than everyday folks Can also change based on severity of the story

34 Key factors CONSEQUENCE If effects are great, the more likely a story will be covered A $50 billion pay cut is more noteworthy than $5,000 RARITY (FIND THE UNICORN) Story about a comet is notable, about stars is not Horses are common, unicorns are special HUMAN INTEREST Often labeled as features, these stories relate to people, which make more people want to read them Also considered good news

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