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Book proposal: The How, What, and Where of News


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my forthcoming book, though note it has changed!

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Book proposal: The How, What, and Where of News

  1. 1. The How, What, and Where of News?: The Crisis and Promise of Post-Industrial Journalism Nikki Usher, PhD Assistant Professor George Washington University Overview: This book brings together unique insights from newsrooms across the U.S. to offer a distinct perspective on the state of journalism today. Drawing on the idea of post-industrial journalism, or the proposition that journalism has been unmoored from its traditional, institutional foundations,1 this book will examine the material foundations of journalism and the places and spaces where both digital and print news is created. Newspapers must reckon with a key contradiction: the business model for journalism no longer follows the traditional, predictable, and profitable patterns of the print era, but the news industry is still nonetheless tied to its industrial past. This industrial past remains significant, because almost all newspapers still rely mostly on their print product to make money, yet operating costs are still significant. But digital costs also add up. The book ultimately argues that the move toward digital production and distribution in journalism ends up reindustrializing journalism, harming news quality and creating new sources of economic instability. The book’s key empirical contribution is to examine how the material elements of the newsmaking process—where journalism is made and how it is made—impact the kind of news produced and the business model of journalism. This approach buttresses this larger argument about the reindustrialization of journalism, highlighting the tensions between the post-industrial present and the legacy of the industrial past. A variety of qualitative methods are used to create a vivid narrative about the tensions between the post-industrial and the industrial, from historical research to ethnography to discourse analysis. The text brings theories and insights from a number of disciplines: sociology, geography, history, and journalism studies. The chapters reveal three significant insights: first, place still matters in the digital age; second, labor and production costs have to be an essential part of the conversation about journalism sustainability; and third, digital production is harder than it looks. This approach is a critical and missing link needed in the discussion of the economic future of journalism, and ultimately, what’s at stake for democracy as a whole. The book takes the reader on a journey through the places where news gets made, offering a history of news buildings and details the impact of newsrooms moving out of their historic homes to newer, smaller spaces. How printing presses work and the tremendous effort of home delivery are explored to emphasize newspaper’s ties to their industrial past—giving additional insight into some of the economic challenges facing the news industry that are often overlooked. Changes in the physical environment for news also shape how news gets made, and the book looks at how new 1 Anderson, Chris W., Emily Bell, and Clay Shirky. Post-industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present: a Report. Columbia Journalism School, 2012.
  2. 2. efforts to rebuild newsroom architecture have fundamentally reshaped workflow and created a seemingly unsustainable—and ill-advised—focus on continuously updated breaking news. The new post-industrial landscape does offer some opportunities. Despite being tied in new ways to the newsroom, journalists are also unbound from doing their work in the usual way thanks to the opportunities of mobile technology. I analyze these new ways of doing newswork in the post- industrial age to show the reindustralization of workflow and underscore the costs to news quality. The book’s final section provides a close look at the effects of the complicated software required to create online news and ends with a discussion of tectonic shift in the way that people get their news—from the new information industrial powerhouses of Google, Facebook, Apple News, and other platforms and aggregators. In all, a material and spatial analysis of journalism helps bring light to the newspaper crisis in a way that highlights both the importance and the difficulty of the industrial legacy of journalism. The promise of post-industrial journalism has not yet been reached, and in fact, the internet actually reindustrializes journalism; what’s at stake if these tensions remain unresolved is economic stability and journalistic authority of journalism as a whole. Summary: This book turns on what has been dubbed post-industrial journalism. This concept claims that the physical and material process of the news institution has been replaced by a primarily digital existence. In the era of post-industrial journalism, traditional forms of news distribution have been eviscerated thanks to the Web, and new forms of online news outlets—niche, non-profit, and beyond—enrich and even surpass the quality and role of existing news outlets in the larger media ecology. The prescription for traditional news is quite somber. Post-industrial journalism signifies a moment in journalism where the newspaper’s continued vitality as a formidable institution is in question. In response to these changes, media institutions have literally modified their physical surroundings to become digital. We see new workflows and new spaces reshaped with the hope of remaining relevant to their audiences by producing news geared to changing expectations in terms of content, speed, and frequency. In many ways, journalism’s traditional industrial process has been diminished as news has evolved to online, mobile and other forms. However, journalism still has to have some of the machinery of large-scale production and depends on some industrial, factory-like routines in order to generate the required content churn in the 24/7 environment. The result is that the quality of news in metropolitan journalism has gotten worse. From the nineteenth century to the 1960s, newspaper barons could literally reshape and develop cities. The founder of The Seattle Times, Alden Blethen, helped spearhead the campaigns that regraded some of the city’s epic hills and make way for more habitable, stable building space in the bustling metropolis of the late 19th century. Fast forward to the 1960s boom when John S. Knight took a scrappy part of Miami, filled with casinos, peep shows, and the seedy nightclubs favored by mob gangsters and built his new Miami Herald newsroom on Biscayne Bay, which became an anchor for the development of Miami as a major city. Thanks to the Herald’s continual promotion, the area became home to the American Airlines arena, a performing arts center, and a monorail. Little could Knight predict that as this area’s real estate value rose that it would eventually be the undoing of the home built at One Herald Plaza. These great newspaper publishers were the tech titans of their day. The newsrooms they built were monuments to the power of the press. The nicknames of some of these buildings —“The Rock of Truth” as The Dallas Morning News is known—symbolizes the standing of these newspapers as
  3. 3. respected, powerful journalistic and civic institutions. Moreover, these large buildings, often the size of entire city blocks, were homages to the power and importance of the newspaper industry. They housed giant printing presses that ran hundreds of thousands of newspapers each day, in multiple editions, supporting a large staff of union pressmen. Journalists needed these large spaces to do their work. Newsrooms had actual phone booths, large Associated Press machines printing on large green paper, and pneumatic tubes that whooshed copy to the composing room down below. Copy desks were arranged in large U-shapes with big wooden desks to facilitate the flow of editing. The newsrooms were full of people. Even today, younger journalists, like those at the Des Moines Register, remember a time when they could walk along the downtown streets and see the latest copy of the newspaper come off the printing presses, an effort that inspired them with the magic and power of journalism. Today, though, it might seem that newspapers have moved past their industrial history. Certainly, there are far fewer people in the newsrooms, digital technology makes it possible to report from anywhere, but most importantly, news is increasingly less and less a physical product. The business model has been up-ended, the readers have moved away from print to digital, efforts at content creation and distribution are centered around the Web. Yet newspapers cannot quite move past their material foundations and remain tied to specific locations: their print products and their news buildings, and even when innovating, still reprise a traditional, industrial model for workflow. They must adapt to confront the consequences of their post-industrial reality, as the news industry can no longer rely on traditional production processes or distribution channels and no longer has a stable economic model. Now, it’s a rare case when a newspaper baron even exists at all at the helm of a major company, much less builds a multi-story showcase to the glory of the institution. Newspapers have not just shed people, they have shed buildings. Media companies have shed valuable real estate and block- size plants in exchange for leased office space. They cannot afford their old spaces, which are not necessary to house a shrunken workforce, and most have moved their presses out of sight. If there is still a printing press at a newspaper building, it is both novel and costly—great for school children’s field trips (as it is at The Boston Globe) and on valuable real estate— though these presses remain critical to bringing money into the newsroom. Newsrooms moving from old buildings to news ones has deep emotional costs for journalists, and the general. For instance, the empty Miami Herald became part of a storyline in the TV series Burn Notice, and in the show, the newspaper was blown to bits—literally gone from the city (as it is in real life). At the same time, these moves represent an opportunity for journalists, and new buildings offer a chance to start over. Many newsrooms, if not most, have taken this opportunity to build what they see as newsrooms for the future – constructing newsroom “hubs” where journalists generally sit in concentric circles around a central media wall. Often, all the online operations will be in this “hub.” The goal is to create a streamlined operation for breaking news in order to facilitate getting news on the Web, on mobile, and on social media as fast as possible. However, this physical reorientation has actually reshaped workflow. Journalists have a mandate to produce breaking news, a focus has become a pathology bound up in a quest for traffic – all with the goal of contributing to an economic bottom line. Ethnographers for years have contended that news is routine, and in fact can be almost factory-like, with journalists bound to their desks, and one can almost feel the influence of Taylorism alive and well in a newsroom that is thinking far beyond its
  4. 4. physical print product. New mobile technologies, though, both allow for some flexibility as journalists find new ways to tell stories, and in other ways, further propel this immediate breaking news content. A new built environment that facilitates breaking news, new technologies that expand the space for breaking news, in concert with the myriad of pressures facing journalism result in a brutal cocktail for journalism. Newspapers are now producing journalism that many journalists are not proud of – or at least the kind of stories newspapers would have never published before: continuous updates about animals on the loose, sensational crime, and “breaking” weather news. Some journalists literally cannot leave their seats for a moment, lest they miss an immediate update; if they get up, they might be unable to post an update that might mean losing a scoop. The push for constant breaking news not only results in a “hamsterization” of news content – volume for volume’s sake—but also reinforces an industrial pattern for news work. At the same time that this quest for breaking news is happening inside the newsroom, there’s still the legacy of a print product – one that takes a tremendous amount of effort to produce from the mechanical and manufacturing efforts required. Editorial journalists are shuffling their online breaking news into newspapers that have earlier and earlier deadlines (The Fort Worth Star- Telegram cannot even print the night’s baseball scores, deadlines are so early). But newspapers still need their presses and their print products to survive. So it’s essential to understand just how extensive (and costly) the manufacturing process and operation costs of creating a print newspaper still are, which often goes overlooked when thinking about the difficulties of creating a sustainable online model. In particular, these costs have a deep industrial legacy: everything from the paper to the union pressmen to the space required to print the newspaper adds up. And then there’s the distribution process: sending out delivery trucks and to drivers who then distribute newspapers to subscribers who live further and further apart. On the other hand, though, so much about producing and distributing a newspaper is digital. And it is in these digital details – which are very much part of the post-industrial reality of journalism— that newspapers face some difficulties that are absolutely critical to overcome. For years, newspapers have relied on content management systems to manage the print and the Web content prior to production. In one system, Méthode, it can take up to 33 different steps just to get a single photo on the Web. This material aspect of news production is so often overlooked by cultural, social, and economic analyses of the news industry. But these efforts may not even matter- as post- industrial journalism posits- journalism has had its traditional distribution processes upended. This could be no more true than articles shared as distributed content – through platforms like Facebook, Google, Apple News, and beyond. The book ends with a discussion of how these difficult digital adaptations can be understood as a material concern of journalism, and considers the irony of these struggles in light of journalism’s roots in its industrial past. The costs of software, hardware, and the new titans of industries, technology companies, underscore how journalism may be reindustrialized through new forms of vertical and horizontal integration and new pathways for production. This project offers new insights into the challenges and opportunities facing traditional print journalism today. While there is a dose of history to tell us about the powers of newspapers past, it is also a story of what actually happens inside newsrooms. Through thick field research that captures newspapers in transition, we get a vibrant portrait of what journalists are thinking, feeling and doing. And instead of simply focusing on the Northeastern Corridor, we visit The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Star-Telegram (Fort Worth), and The Des Moines Register, as well as The New
  5. 5. York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Some highlights from the UK are also introduced. This is not a story of decline, though some stories here tell of decline; but one of reinvention. The fate of journalism needs to be understood through symbols as well as stories, through the buildings and the physical manifestations of journalists and the actual workflows of how journalists go about their work. Chapter Outline: Introduction: The book begins with an overview of post-industrial journalism: what it means and how we see it manifest in today’s newsroom. Daniel Bell’s idea of post-industrialism dates back to the late 70s, and a landmark whitepaper published from leading thinkers at Columbia University’ School of Journalism helped mesh some of his concepts—which are a bit different— into the framework of journalism. The first chapter builds a more robust theory of post-industrial journalism, comparing the idea of post-industrial in journalism to other industries (particularly the auto industry), showing that labor, product and people have become contingent and removed from the predictable patterns of an industrial, manufacturing past. The post-industrial framework is strongly connected to a geospatial and material approach. Space, place, and “things” root us in the past and present, connecting us to where journalism is made and how it is made—and the differences between the physical underpinnings required to make news and its digital existence. To make these connections and set a theoretical framework for the book, a brief outline of the relevance of thinkers like Bell, Manuel Castells, and David Harvey, connect post-industrial journalism to how that people relate to physical spaces and places and material things. This discussion returns to a more grounded and practical discussion of the state of journalism today. This chapter will also introduce our key case studies, The Seattle Times, The Miami Herald, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Des Moines Register, chosen because they underscore the impact of post-industrial journalism in metropolitan journalism as it unfolds across the nation. Newsroom Barons, Cities of News, and Industrial Memories Newsroom barons like Amon Carter Sr. of Fort Worth, the founder of the Star-Telegram, who made his money in advertising, and Gardner Cowles, of the Des Moines Register, who came from a small town called Altoona, Iowa, have life stories that are written as legends by admirers. They not only built newspapers but also changed the cities where they lived – Carter modernized in Fort Worth, while Cowles actually spurred the development of Iowa’s transportation system so he could deliver newspapers across the state. They and their heirs built newsrooms to match their egos. Inside, the machinery matched the industrial scale of the time, with giant machines and large work forces handling the laborious process from written word to metal plate back to printed words again. This chapter discusses both the industrial barons and the industrial, manufacturing processes that used to put together the print paper. Giving some insight into the days when news buildings were erected to show the public the might of journalism’s power, and looking back at the difficult processes required to go from story to finished product gives the reader a real sense of journalism’s industrial past. A discussion of news buildings helps remind the reader that newspapers were the tech companies of the day. This historical chapter, which traces both the manufacturing past and the importance of the built environment sets up the rest of the chapters. This material history of newspaper manufacturing
  6. 6. and the importance of the news building has not yet been analyzed together. With this chapter, we can set in motion a discussion of where news gets produced—and how it was made—and why this cultural context for understanding journalism helps us better understand the current situation facing the news industry. Newsroom moves: Des Moines and Miami The next chapter takes us to the present situation facing journalism through this geospatial and material lens. Perhaps the biggest sign that there has been a distinct departure in journalism from its industrial past is that newspapers have shed their giant homes—these news factories—and have moved to new buildings. Some of these new newsrooms are modest, some are showpieces, all are smaller. In a post-industrial era, newspapers can no longer support the large staffs – or justify the expense of keeping the real estate that was a testament to the greatness of times past. The trend of newsrooms moving news buildings is analyzed, underscoring why news organizations are making these changes and what they hope to gain. The connection between the physical capital of the news building and the cultural capital of the newspaper is discussed. This chapter looks specifically at the role of newspaper buildings as a way to investigate the post- industrial journalism phenomena. Two newsrooms are examined: The Miami Herald and The Des Moines Register. The story of each newsroom is told as it moves from its historic home to a new one, but the two newspapers could not be more different; in Miami, the tale is one of decline, while in Des Moines, history is mourned, but a new chapter has begun—a welcoming of the post-industrial challenge for journalism in the digital age. The Des Monies Register journalists left a newspaper building so old that even the marble stairs had been worn down, but the newsroom remains in the center of the city and the building is a new showpiece for Des Moines—much like the old newsrooms of the early 20th century. In Miami, however, the newspaper has moved to the outreaches of the city—near the airport—which has left journalists worrying about the future of The Miami Herald brand, its connection to the community, and even its ability to cover significant stories. The Hub Post-industrial journalism signals a departure away from the focus on mechanical processes of production (e.g. the print product) in exchange for a new, primary focus on a digital-first product. To make this kind of newsroom a reality, newspapers have turned to a physical, material solution to try to solve this digital challenge. When newsrooms move from their old buildings into new ones, many take the opportunity to use architecture to establish editorial priorities. Across the US and the world, newsrooms are assembling their news operations around breaking news “hubs,” often concentric circles, or spokes radiating from one central desk configuration in a newsroom— generally surrounded by huge walls of TVs. The stated goal is to facilitate communication in order to speed up the breaking news process. And, as many of these editors and journalists will tell you, they believe breaking news is directly correlated to Web traffic success, which leads in turn to economic returns. The Telegraph in London might be most famous for its “hub”; in 2006, it was one of the first newsrooms to try this configuration. As part of the research for this book, I journeyed there to meet with the person in charge of continually adjusting and readjusting newsroom space (including reconfiguring newsroom bookshelves and plants). But the book takes a closer look at how these hubs really work to re-socialize a staff’s communication patterns through further insights gained
  7. 7. from our key case studies of Seattle, Miami, Des Moines and Fort Worth. I examine how communication processes are changed, and how architecture – the built environment, the desks, the set-up of the newsroom (the space, place, and the material) communicates editorial priorities. Each newsroom’s aspirations are examined, and readers are given a sense of how these hubs actually work. This sets the stage for the next chapter, which examines how these new spatial configurations impact the news production process. Workflow and the Hamster Wheel Journalists have created these newsroom hubs in response to specific pressures of the post- industrial news environment—journalism that moves faster than ever before in an accelerated digital environment. But we need to ask another question: in an effort to respond to this context for journalism, have newspapers just re-inscribed some of the industrial processes that leave them vulnerable to the very concerns they are trying to escape, such as the loss of readers, and the diminished role of newspapers in a community? What we find is that newsroom hubs enable a larger move toward the institutionalization of work processes that emphasize more, faster, breaking news. This process for creating news literally mimics the kind of industrial process one might think of from the old auto companies; it is highly routine, and if journalists leave their desks, if even for a moment, they may lose a scoop to a competitor (most often, the local TV station). Journalism has been turned into what has been called “hamster-wheel” journalism, volume for volume’s sake, more news faster and faster. The physical surrounds contribute to this feeling; the large screens of real-time analytics seen across newsrooms and social media twitter feeds seen across the newsroom help reinforce that there is no time— journalists feel they are in a high-stakes environment where ever story can help build or lose precious traffic, which might ultimately harm or hurt the bottom line. As other scholars have shown, the pumping heart of Chartbeat analytics literally has an emotional consequence on journalists. Some newsrooms, though, are more hamster-like than others. We can see this workflow and mentality in play in Fort Worth and Miami, where every story at every time through every medium is chased. On the other hand, The Des Moines Register and The Seattle Times, tactically consider their metrics. This does not mean slowing down the pace of news. As these newspapers compete in a post-industrial environment, working to beat television, blogs, and other competitors in the local media ecosystem, and scramble for readers, we can actually see and hear how the content of news changes. The chapter considers how the material aspects of the journalists’ environment, and the spatial configurations for how and where they do their work might impact the push toward immediate news content, but the chapter also shows how the newsroom is re-inscribing an industrial process back into newswork. Journalists Without a Newsroom So far, one might get the sense that the post-industrial setting for journalism has created enormous stress and strain—and the tensions between the industrial past make the future for journalism look bleak. This is, of course, partly true. On the other hand, the new technologies for journalism also create new opportunities—and nowhere is this clearer than in the innovations that enable reporting from the field. Just as the newsroom is being recreated in physical space, journalists now more than ever are encouraged to go off and use technology to report from anywhere. Non-experts
  8. 8. are encouraged by newsroom managers to take risks with mobile tools, and newsrooms like The Des Moines Register have tried out new portable cameras in the midst of breaking news. Mobile journalism of some sort has had a long history, but today’s mobile technology – from text to photo to video to social media– is distinctly different because of the instant capacities for publishing and mass distribution. And for better or worse, while mobile technology is an opportunity for new forms of storytelling, this instant connection facilitates the next step in driving the immediate news process. Journalists live-tweet from their phones, carry around iPads, and are expected to report in real time. Other contradictions emerge: while mobile tools also mean that the production of once labor-intensive processes, like photography, no longer require the same tools, oddly, newsrooms are responding to new demands for digital video and patterns of news consumption by building elaborate video studios. Mobile technology can become just the rough draft for something more highly produced in the newsroom, which further enshrines the news building as the space for doing work. The chapter ends with a reflection about whether newsrooms still matter as a site for doing newswork: some journalists disagree whether there really is a need for a central space of production anymore and what purpose a newsroom might even serve thanks to portable technology, but the efforts put into building newsroom hubs and elaborate multimedia facilities suggest that there’s more to the story. What Makes News: Physical Materials of News The problem with journalists not knowing about what actually drives an economic model is that they still need to produce a print paper, which is incredibly expensive– The New York Times, for example, acknowledges that 70 percent of its operating costs are spent on producing the print product. While print makes most of the money, this is no longer a good investment because print circulation is dropping precipitously, year after year, and the costs of print production take away from money that could be spent on new directions, improvements, and even risks that the company might take. Creating a print newspaper is a tremendous manufacturing effort, and the return on this investment is shrinking. One of the best ways to cut costs (in addition or instead of cutting labor) would be to cut print production—as newspapers in Ann Arbor, New Orleans, and elsewhere have, but then newspapers must make up the balance with digital revenue, and the chapter will briefly look at the consequences of cutting a print paper. The loss of print in these communities has marked the end of much of the newspaper’s cultural capital in the community. The main focus of this chapter, though, will look at the physical and material processes of creating a newspaper, visiting first a modern printing plant to understand more fully what it actually takes to print a contemporary paper, and then accompanying newspaper deliverymen and women as they go through the increasingly inefficient process of delivering print papers.2 Aside from a few articles in periodicals like Popular Mechanics, there’s been little coverage of the massive efforts and the process of print production and almost no discussion of the people other than the journalists who work on these presses. Ideally, I will travel to The Boston Globe, which still has its press in its news building—at least until it moves in September 2016. The newspaper had a delivery problem where journalists were actually asked to help deliver newspapers. Interviews with these journalists and delivery drivers will add richness to the discussion of the high costs and inefficiencies associated with the print product. This chapter drives home the inability to move entirely past industrial models and why journalism finds itself in such a liminal state. 2 I have not gotten field access as of yet.
  9. 9. Technologies and The Process of Post-Industrialism Post-industrial journalism means that journalists face new challenges from technology that changes how news is distributed and produced. News organizations have attempted through new content management systems (CMS) to digitize and simplify the process to make digital work easier, but this can only do so much. These content management systems make the difference between speed online and even Google search results. Some news organizations, like The Washington Post, are even marketing superior systems to their competitors. When this is compared to online-only companies, newspapers’ efforts are laughable; for Buzzfeed, its content systems is part of what makes it a half- tech, half-media company appealing to venture capital. Dealing with content is hard, getting the words actually from the screen into a readable format—for print or for web—is absolutely critical to newsroom survival. While the biggest news organizations have been able to streamline content management systems that are growing more and more sophisticated—to the point of embedding suggested links and offering forms of predicted analytics tools—other news organizations are stuck with one-size fits all models that are leaving them behind. Digital production costs money, and these costs are often not accounted for when arguments about the reduced costs of contemporary information technology. The book will end by arguing that the Internet has reindustrialized journalism. The fundamental distribution processes of journalism have changed—particularly with the rise of distributed content, or news that reaches readers through platforms other than a news organization (principally via social media). Emily Bell, of Columbia, has written about how Facebook has swallowed news, while others, such as Matthew Hindman, of George Washington University, have talked about how economies of scale dominate the web. The chapter closes with a look at how the new titans of industry—Google, Facebook, Snapchat and Apple, among others—are setting up new “operating costs” for traditional journalism. The book ends with a discussion of the tension between the old industrial patterns, the fundamental challenges to journalism first outlined by the Columbia report and shows how this book helped empirically illustrate some of the difficulties in place. Author Information: Nikki Usher, PhD is an assistant professor at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. She is the author of Making News at The New York Times (University of Michigan Press, 2014), winner of the Association for Mass Communication in Education in Journalism’s Tankard Award for book of the year. She is most recently the author of Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code (forthcoming, University of Illinois Press, 2016). Usher, a past Tow Fellow at Columbia’s Journalism School and a past fellow at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Institute, has written and researched about the future of journalism for a variety of academic publications including New Media and Society, Journalism, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Media Culture and Society and others. She was formerly a journalist and also frequently writes for The Columbia Journalism Review and has been a past contributor to Nieman Journalism Lab. She received her PhD and MA from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and her AB magna cum laude from Harvard University. Market: My first published book was a successful crossover academic and industry book that I know has been read by both journalists and academics and is currently a required reading for a number of journalism undergrad and graduate classes. My writing combines in-depth academic research with
  10. 10. good storytelling and narrative and make my work approachable for journalists, students, and academics. It is my sense that this book’s historical content and the book’s theme give it a longevity and the data will remain relevant to the argument over time even as journalism changes. This will make it more appealing to academics and professors looking for material for their classes. In addition to the journalism audience, there is the broader communication field as well as sociologists, and geography scholars that will be interested in my focus on materialism and industry, as these are topics often explored in these fields, and increasingly so. The theory, too, draws primarily from these fields, so there is a natural tie to these audiences. Its strong methods and multi-sited case study approach may also make it marketable as a sample methods text for qualitative fields looking for examples of this kind of research. This subject has also received attention and coverage already from the mainstream press. The earlier report was just recently quoted in The Washington Post and Politico after The Post moved newsrooms, and has been referenced in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Columbia Journalism Review. Competition Anderson, C.W., Bell, E. and Shirky, C. (2012). Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University This is the whitepaper from which I draw my work. It is complementary rather than necessarily competition, and while it gives excellent focus on the economic disintegration of the industry of journalism, it does not turn its attention to the process or material construction of newspapers and is mainly focused on new types of journalism. Ryfe, D. (2013). Can Journalism Survive: An Inside Look at American Newspapers. Malden, MA: Polity. This is a book about regional newspapers set in 2008 in the depth of the financial crisis. It sets a fundamentally negative tone of the impossibility of journalism’s survival, and while it is ethnography, it is aided (but perhaps hampered in its audience) by a rich discussion of field theory and other Big T theory, while my book will use this theory as rationale rather than constant application for its argument. Anderson, C.W. (2013). Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. This book, also a strong book about metropolitan news, does something slightly different in that its focus is an in-depth ethnography on The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News’ and the local news ecosystem in the changes from print to digital. Batsell, J. (2015). Engaged Journalism: Connecting With Digitally Empowered Audiences. New York: Columbia University Press. This is an exemplary book that also looks at some of the economic problems facing journalism, but focuses on the issue of how journalism can improve its relationship with audiences. Mobile technology is discussed, which makes the book a good compliment to mine. This is an audience book, while mine is a production book, so they could be sold and packaged together. Kennedy, D. (2013). The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age. University of Michigan Press.
  11. 11. This book is only a competitor in that it asks some larger questions about what we are to do when the traditional newspaper model fails – as it had in New Haven when the big news coverage declined in the city. But the title isn’t really what the book is about – the book is more a story of nonprofit journalism. This competition suggests that there is interest in metropolitan news, interest in this problem, and interest in the questions I have been asking, but that the questions I am asking and will answer have not yet been directly addressed yet. Additional Information and Specs My guess is that the book would be between 80,000 to 90,000 words. I do have some excellent photos I have taken of the newspaper buildings and newspaper hubs that may be fun to use as well as some pictures of analytics boards. I also hope to take pictures of presses or pressmen or some more material work. Perhaps 15 pictures at most, though I would like flexibility for more or less. Right now, the plan for completion includes beginning work on this in mid-May. I will need to complete additional work and potentially update data, particularly for the industrial production chapter. I hope to receive money from my university to fill in any holes in the data, but to me, the existing data is evergreen for this project because of its richness and the argument I am creating (there are 122 interviews, field observations, and dozens of meetings; 280 pages of single-spaced field notes). I will need to do some archival research this summer as well at the Library of Congress. I hope to do the bulk of the writing starting in Spring 2017 for possible submission in Fall 2018. Previous and related work: Some of the data has been published previously in the Tow Report I produced and in a journal article about the Miami Herald. I also plan to write an article on immediacy and economic survival that has a different emphasis. But these journal articles, while using some crossover data are pretty different. The white paper I include here was very practical: how can journalists do their work better – and didn’t really focus on some of the more symbolic and material implications – and it’s also shorter and less contextualized in post-industrialism, even though that is the title of the report (note: this was produced under a creative commons license so there is no problem with rights). I also strayed away from being too critical because of the expected audience. The Miami Herald article has some good data for a case study, but is abbreviated, too deeply in the weeds and formulaic. Basically, anything I write for the book has to have a narrative, it has to have an arc, and the data has to tell a story. The journal articles are really specific and very narrow, and don’t tell the big, broad story in any compelling way – they can help the book, and will help promote the book, but do not compete with the book. I have done similar journal articles as complementary to my Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code book and it worked quite well. Other Materials I have attached for your reference the Tow report and the journal article on The Miami Herald. My first book is available for free on the University of Michigan Press website should you need an additional sample.