Monday, July 21, 2008

Not your mom’s newspaper

A new report from The Project for Excellence in Journalism on how newspapers are morphing. Freaks me out a bit, but it is important to see opportunity as well as loss here. This is the wave we get to ride together.

The Changing Newsroom (J1 students -- Bookmark this site. We'll use it in class.)

Meet the American daily newspaper of 2008.

It has fewer pages than three years ago, the paper stock is thinner, and the stories are shorter. There is less foreign and national news, less space devoted to science, the arts, features and a range of specialized subjects. Business coverage is either packaged in an increasingly thin stand-alone section or collapsed into another part of the paper. The crossword puzzle has shrunk, the TV listings and stock tables may have disappeared, but coverage of some local issues has strengthened and investigative reporting remains highly valued….

In this report we divide the analysis into six main areas:
Cutbacks, which examines the depth of staff reductions and how larger and smaller newspapers have been affected;
Changing Content, which looks at what topics are losing space and resources, which are growing and which are holding steady;
The Changing Newsroom, which charts the transformation of newsroom skills, demands and culture;
The Influence of the Web, which studies the enormous impact newspaper websites are having on newsrooms and on daily newspaper journalism;
Citizen In the Newsroom, which explores the growing influence and impact of journalism produced by non-professional journalists; and
The Future, which weighs the implications of smaller newsrooms, greater innovation, more financial pressures and the struggle to monetize the web.

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