The Newspaper Industry is one of the oldest and largest, most widely-known media industry in existence. “More than 1 out of 3 people in the United States reads a newspaper everyday” (Vivian 78). When you think of someone reading a newspaper, we often think of someone who’s older, sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee and who doesn’t really know much or endulge themselves in the fast-paced world today, like with television or newer technology, basically, a grandpa. However, what we can easily be surprised with is the fact that in 2004, while newspapers were paid $44.9 billion in advertising, television stations on the air only attracted $42.5 billion (Vivian 78).
Many people believe that television has stolen the media industry from all other sources, including newspapers, books, and magazines. If you think about it, who doesn’t have a television in their house? However, what we don’t pay attention to is how many newspaper dispenser boxes we see outside restaraunts, at bus stops, and especially near a lot of coffee shops.
So what kind of newspapers are most read? Most every town has their own local paper. However, there are a bunch of newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today where many people pay more attention to. Recently the newspaper industry has been faced with a decline in sales since 2003, but from September 2006 to March 2007, has actually increased yet again (Vivian 79). Even though this may be true, newspapers are still desperately trying to increase their production. They haven’t lost their reputation or name, but many people have stopped investing in them due to the articles being online, or the same stories covered on television.
What’s the advantages of getting a newspaper over watching television? As opposed to television, the newspaper contain a lot of different categories of content (Vivian 79). For example, several people read the editorials to get different perspectives on certain topics. This alone can open someone up to new ideas, whereas the news on the television can be biased and only give you one side of the story. Several other people will go straight to the sports section to find out how their favorite football team did because they missed the game. There are even comics in there that children can even enjoy.
So with all this competing media, what has the industry of newspapers done to compete with these several different types of media that are drastically changing society? According to Vivian, there are several different things being done, one being that more color photos are replacing simple graphics. People will be more likely to pick up a newspaper that has an intriguing photo on the front cover than one of all text. Another thing that’s been changed is that the newspaper industry has changed their hours to earlier in the day to accommodate people who have early jobs, so they can grab a newspaper on the way into work. Several newspapers have been delivering their paper by web as well. (Vivian 80).
The biggest fear of the newspaper industry is that young people getting older is going to affect future business. Not many people in the younger generation have been exposed to newspapers, and have grown up with the television and internet as our primary source of news and information. So the question is, are older generations keeping the newspaper industry alive?
There are different types of newspaper ownership, from chain ownership to absentee ownership. While chain ownership is one single industry owning many types of papers, you have people in absentee ownerships living out of the city that their paper is reporting news on. Mainly companies like these own the papers to gain the highest profit. Jobs will be eliminated, and news coverage will be “trimmed” just so the news can make the most out of it’s space to report (Vivian 83). Journalists were making low salaries just so the paper could keep the profit that it’d make. Furthermore, veteran employees are often fired or laid off or forced to move to another job or another paper, because “fresh meat” is always needed to keep up with the times and the stories.
Some news papers have even had target audiences, contrary to popular belief. For example, the Wall Street Journal has always reported things that are appropriate and family-oriented (Vivian 85). Investment bankers would usually pay attention to papers dealing with economic issues, such as StarTrib (Vivian 85). Many companies print newspapers of special interest and to certain audiences as well.
The newspaper industry has had it’s increases and falls in productions, so what’s next? Technology keeps changing with every day that goes by. The newspaper industry is really feeling all the pressure of this change in society, but has been striving to keep up with it by changing things in their production and industry. Now-a-days, newspapers are still relatively popular and in print, but what will the future bring for the newspaper industry?