CHAPTER #4 - CHAPTER #4 NEWSPAPERS A snapshot of the...

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CHAPTER #4 NEWSPAPERS A snapshot of the graying American newspaper industry in 2008: + Some community newspapers earn 20% profit, compared with 10% profit for the typical Fortune 500 company. + Circulation and advertising revenues provide predictable cash flows. + Managers exert discipline in matters of capital expenditures and operating costs. - Although newspapers are profitable now, the newspaper industry is not growing. Readership continues to decline, especially within demographic groups most desirable to advertisers. - The cost of raw materials continues to increase. - Competition from electronic and internet sources of news and advertising continues to displace readers. Advertising revenues from classifieds (“want ads”) that once accounted for 70% of newspaper profits have now migrated to the Internet. Since 2006 Several prominent publishers have initiated news-editorial employee buyout programs. Nevertheless, we must maintain historical perspective. . . Something like the community newspaper will probably continue to exist indefinitely. People have been writing obituaries for American newspapers since 1920. Remember that the emergence of new media for distributing messages rarely results in the death of older, existing media. Instead, existing media adapt and change . Throughout the US’ history, American newspapers have characteristically provided content that: is diverse is timely is conveniently packaged emphasizes local events (the handful of national papers are exceptions) functions as “first drafts” of the historical record serves the watchdog function of journalism The evolution of the American newspaper begins with three early periods during which publications were aimed at small audiences The colonial period: Combined roles of printing, book selling, and sometimes also postmaster British law required licensure The Revolutionary War period: Newspaper publishing divided into specialized roles that have persisted to the present: publishing editing printing The Political, Partisan, or Party Press period: Newspapers published by two opposing political groups: Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Press freedom was codified in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The shift to mass audiences: The Penny Press (1833-1860), our first truly “mass” medium. The Penny Press emerged in the 1830s for three principal reasons: Technological innovation (steam-powered printing presses) Free and compulsory education (most people could read) Egalitarian perspective (ordinary Americans began to be recognized as important political and economic
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2010 for the course COM 250 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Purdue.

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CHAPTER #4 - CHAPTER #4 NEWSPAPERS A snapshot of the...

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