||Chapter 4 - Newspapers
Despite an aging and declining readership, newspapers remain the major organizations for the practice of journalism. Newspapers control the culture of journalism and offer the most readily available jobs to those who want to enter the profession.
Newspapers are highly profitable businesses, in part because most of them operate in monopolistic environments. Few cities in the early 21st century have competing daily newspapers, unlike the situation in most cities at the beginning of the 20th century. Consequently newspapers can charge premium rates to advertisers, and they can raise subscription prices without fear of being undercut by competing newspapers.
Most newspapers have similar organizational structures, beginning with the publisher at the top and an editor or editor-in-chief, who is the most visible member of the newspaper's editorial staff. The managing editor is the person who has the responsibility of getting the newspaper out every day.
The editorial staff of a newspaper is divided into "sections" or "desks." Normally, these include city or metro desks, sports, business, and features or lifestyles. Supporting section are the copydesk, the graphics section and the photo desk.
Take a look at the newspaper profiles (New York Times, Washington Post, etc.) found in this chapter. Assign your students to write similar (or more extensive) profiles of the newspapers in your area. The starting point for this assignment would be the latest Editor and Publisher Yearbook, which the local library is likely to have.
An annual report on the news media. For an up-to-date report on newspapers, check out the annual report of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists (http://www.journalism.org). The report has sections on each media, including newspapers (2004 report). This report talks about the overall state of newspapers, economic conditions, content, readership, news investment, and ownership.
Key concepts and terms
Section I | 1: News and Society | 2: Culture of Journalism | 3: Becoming a Journalist
Section II | 4: Newspapers | 5: Magazines | 6: Television and Radio | 7: News Web Sites
Section III | 8: Reporters | 9: Reporting | 10: Writing news and features | 11: Style |
12: Editors | 13: Editing and headline writing | 14: Visual Journalists |
15: Graphics Journalism | 16: Photojournalism | 17: Publication Design |
18: Broadcasters | 19: Writing for Broadcast
Section IV | 20: Beginnings of Journalism | 21: Journalism Comes of Age |
22: New Realities, New Journalism | 23: 20th Century and Beyond
Section V | 24: Law and the Journalist | 25: Ethical Practices | 26: Present and Future
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