What do you think of when you hear the word “ tabloid ?”
Tabloid refers to a page format , not the style ( not all tabloids feature alien babies ).
Tabloids: generally more blue collar, featuring sports and crime.
Tabloids are generally more salacious than broadsheets.
Tabloids tend to appeal to readers raw emotions.
Many tabloids rely heavily upon street sales as opposed to subscriptions .
The Philadelphia Daily News until very recently was unavailable for home delivery in the city (with the exception of a few neighborhoods).
Should media outlets provide info people want or the info people need?
Isn’t there anything else happening in Philadelphia? Or elsewhere?
What is going to sell more newspapers? Which will draw the most reaction?
Who should decide what is the most important story?
Who should decide what is the most important story? Journalists . But do they?
Anyway … Back to terms of print journalism…
Alternative weeklies are non-traditional newspapers. Usually youth-oriented and anti-establishment .
Newspapers (and some local newscasts) offer editorials and endorsements .
At traditional newspapers, the op/ed pages are independent from the news sections . Alt weeklies tend to be liberal all around.
All newspapers are concerned with reaching profit goals.
Does running an ad for Comcast on the front page of a Philly newspaper seem like an endorsement ?
Does this make the newspaper seem like it is promoting these shows?
What’s wrong with the newspaper telling you which shows are good or bad? Or who to vote for?
If you assume there is an agenda behind everything, can you trust the media?
That is the problem with where we are today. Only 36% of people believe the media gets the facts straight.
And now there is a growing popularity in the media analyzing information.
A news “ analysis ” goes deeper into the news story, often processing the information so that the audience doesn’t have to.
A news “ analysis ” goes deeper into the news story, often processing the information so that the audience doesn’t have to. Essentially, they are interpreting the story.
Is that objective? We are supposed to be independent from faction .
Who wants to be a print journalist ? Specifically newspapers ?
Circulation is dwindling , ad dollars are disappearing and jobs are becoming scarce . Grrrrr.
Why print journalism?
Print journalism is good for you if:
You like to write or shoot images (or do design layouts, edit copy, etc).
You are curious , and you want to know about stuff before anyone else does.
You can work quickly , independently and in noisy places .
You don’t want glory (or tons of money) but you want to help people .
More than 1,500 dailies in the United States.
Total circulation of more than 52 million.
An estimated 2.2 people read each paper, so more than 100 million people read newspapers.
An additional 50 million copies of weekly newspapers (alternative, specialty and community papers) are read by an estimated 200 million people.
There are around 307 million people in the United States. So about 1/3 read newspapers daily, and about 2/3 read a weekly.
So what’s the problem? Why did 14,000 newspaper staffers get canned last year?
Journalism is a business.
Craigslist = Free It’s hard to compete with free.
It’s more than just Craigslist:
Major advertisers (like department stores) have consolidated, leaving fewer big spenders available.
There is so much more competition for eyes now because of the Internet (thus circulation has declined).
Labor costs (specifically health care) have increased.
How have newspapers dealt with the changes?
They’ve eliminated staff and bureaus.
They’ve cut benefits packages.
They’ve shrunk the paper.
They’ve increased subscription rates.
They’ve created bonus incentives for editors and managers.
Companies have merged or broken-up.
The problems newspapers continue to deal with.
Absentee owners with profit emphasis (rather than a journalistic or balanced emphasis).
Low wages for journalists (which means there is a drain on talent … smart people go elsewhere).
Fewer journalists means weaker coverage.
Changing job descriptions - you are no longer a single-skill employee.
How do you deal with the Internet?
Important dates in newspaper history.
The first newspaper, Publick Occurrences, was published in Boston in 1690.
Benjamin Day founded the New York Sun in 1833, selling copies for 1 cent.
1851 - New York Times; 1889 - Wall Street Journal; 1919 - New York Daily News; 1955 - Village Voice; 1982 - USA Today.
Do you read USA Today? Why?
What is good about USA Today?
The positives .
More than 2.1 million daily circulation.
Brief stories - the news quickly.
Covers every state.
Very colorful and eye-catching.
Standardized format, so there is an immediate comfort level (like McDonald’s or Starbucks).
Excellent business model (high profits).
What is bad?
The negatives .
Most stories are brief; while there is more depth now than there originally was, stories are often superficial at best.
They barely cover each state, meaning they will rarely cover your community.
Gannett raised the bar for newspaper profits, and nearly all publicly traded newspapers were forced to reach for those profit levels.
Life after the founding of USA Today.
Color is now standard in newspapers (the New York Times went color in 1997).
Greater emphasis placed on the business of journalism (rather than the craft).
Many papers aped USA Today’s format.
The second read . Your hometown paper gives you local news. USA Today gives you the nation (and the world).
That idea is becoming closer and closer to being a reality.
What are the principles of journalism? And does USA Today adhere to them?
The principles of journalism:
Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
Our loyalty is to the citizens.
Journalism is a discipline of verification.
We must remain independent.
We must be an independent monitor of power.
The principles, part II:
We provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
We have a duty to make the significant interesting and relevant.
We must be comprehensive.
Journalists must have a conscience.
Citizens are a vital part of journalism.
Can citizens have a voice when newspapers are for-profit businesses run by suits who live on the other side of the country?
So why bother with journalism? Did I mention it doesn’t pay well, either?
Dear Mr. Miller, I recently read your article in the Philadelphia Weekly about your vehement hatred of the Philadelphia Eagles. … It's assholes like you that give credence to the old saying my father taught me, "You can't shine shit."
We bring the world to people. If it weren’t for us, they probably wouldn’t know what else was out there.
Print media is not going away.
But print’s greatest hope is probably as content generators . How do you make money on that ?
The Entrepreneurial Journalist
The Entrepreneurial Journalist
What makes magazines special?
Differences between mags and newspapers:
Newspapers are generally regional whereas mags are usually by interest .
Newspapers are generally daily or weekly, whereas mags are weekly or monthly.
Mags focus on trends rather than breaking news .
Mags have a greater focus on writing .
There are more than 12,000 magazines. 500 to 600 new mags arrive every year. (Only 1 in 5 makes it into year 3)
Types of mags:
Consumer : subscription-based .
Newspaper supplements: Parade, USA Weekend, Life.
Women’s mags: Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, etc.
Men’s mags: Esquire (1933), Playboy (1953).
Sponsored, non-newsrack mags : Smithsonian, Penn Gazette, AARP, etc.
Trade journals: for specific industries like advertising or tech stuff.
Trade mags :
Important events in mag history:
1821 - Saturday Evening Post
1879 - Postal Act allowed mags to be mass distributed inexpensively.
1888 - National Geographic
1922 - Reader’s Digest - still the most circulated mag in the United States.
1923 - TIME magazine.
1936 - Life mag and the photo essay.
Life magazine Margaret Bourke-White
Life magazine peaked with about 8.5 million circulation in the mid-1950’s. General consumer mags shaped the country’s mindset.
When television arrived, mass circulated general mags couldn’t compete. So the industry evolved.
Now you have thousands of niche publications.
What magazines do you read?
What do you look for in magazines?
Do magazines adhere to the principles of journalism? Truth? Loyalty to citizens? Verification? Independent? Monitors power? Forum for opinions? Relevant? Comprehensive? Sensitive? Can citizens participate?
How else do magazines differ from newspapers? Or from online, for that matter?
The real differences:
Mags need to have an intimate connection with their audience .
Mags are more personal.
Mags are as much about the writing as the reporting .
Magazines cover ideas , and people with ideas, rather than events (although some mags also cover events).
Mags provide analysis .
Mags can be beautiful.
Magazines are one of the hardest industries to break into. Most of the actual writing is done by freelancers .
Alt weeklies are great steppingstones to mag work.