A screenshot of USA Today's Web site

Newspapers Hope To Avoid Becoming Yesterday’s News

May 28, 2008 12:40 PM
by Colleen Brondou
Print newspapers are still learning to embrace the Internet rather than fight it. Now they face another challenge: how to bring quality back to journalism.

30-Second Summary

With ad revenue and print circulation taking a nosedive, newspapers have had to reinvent themselves. Gannett, the chain that owns USA Today and a host of other newspapers around the country, has moved toward “hyperlocal” news coverage: the print edition is heavier on analysis with a focus on local stories, while breaking stories are covered online.
Part of this reinvention also means taking advantage of the Internet’s particular strengths. According to Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of consumer research firm comScore, “the brands that will ultimately win over these key news consumers are those that successfully integrate cutting edge digital content with high quality journalism.”

Though some readers shun the “cutting edge digital content” available online and remain loyal to their morning ritual of the newspaper and coffee, results from a recent poll show that more and more people are going online to get their news: 48 percent of respondents said their primary news source is the Internet, an 8 percent increase from last year.

The survey also found that 64 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism, suggesting that as newspapers change their business models and morph into online digital content providers, there may be more important challenges ahead.

According to Andrew Nachison, cofounder of media think tank iFOCOS, “we have documented a crisis in American journalism that is far more serious than the industry’s business challenges. … Americans recognize the value of journalism for their communities, and they are unsatisfied with what they see.”

Headline Links: Newspapers no longer in the newspaper business

Background: A downward trend for paper

Related Topic: Book-of-the-month club business model also threatened

Reference: Newspapers around the world


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