Posts Tagged ‘Newspapers’

Newsweek Magazine to End an Era of Print

October 19, 2012 3 comments

Newsweek CoverNewsweek is closing down it’s print edition at the end of 2012.  As a result of this news, I bought a copy of Newsweek for my archives last night.   In 2003, Newsweek’s worldwide circulation was more than 4 million, including 2.7 million in the U.S; by 2010 it was down to 1.5 million (with newsstand sales declining to just over 40 thousand copies per week). Newsweek publishes editions in Japanese, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Rioplatense SpanishArabic, and Turkish, as well as an English language Newsweek InternationalRussian Newsweek, published since 2004, was shut in October 2010.  The Bulletin (an Australian weekly until 2008) incorporated an international news section from Newsweek.  Based in New York City, the magazine has 22 bureaus: nine in the U.S.: New York City, Los Angeles,  Chicago/Detroit, Dallas, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco, as well as overseas in London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, JerusalemBaghdad, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, South AsiaCape Town, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.


I come from an era where reading a real newspaper or weekly news magazine ( see top US magazines by circulation) was a regular event for me.  Sadly, it’s been probably about a year or more since I’ve read a full newspaper from front page to the back.  And now, it may actually become a lost “art” of sorts, sooner than one might think.  I believe our newspaper journalists are an endangered species.

In fact, I am starting to collect a few newspapers. Just a few here and there that are news worthy or interesting to me, like my earlier post about my late 1800 Penny Press Newspaper from France, Newsweek, Time, the election of President Obama, and the death’s of Princess Diana and Micheal Jackson.

Here are some examples of newspapers that closed during 2012: 

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, a fixture in the Big Easy since 1837, will slash its staff and production schedule, going from 7 to 3 days a week beginning this fall. The body count isn’t known yet, but estimates are that at least a third of the staff will be fired. Those who stay are expected to take pay cuts.

The Times-Picayune, which is owned by Newhouse Newspapers, is apparently taking a page from the Ann Arbor News, another Newhouse paper that cut its frequency to twice-weekly more than three years ago.

The Detroit Media Partnership was the first to eliminate daily frequency in late 2008. Many smaller papers have since quietly cu

Newspaper dispenser, Newspaperst money-losing Monday, Tuesday and Saturday editions.

Additionally, The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register and Huntsville Times will also reduce frequency to three days a week. They’ll become part of a “new digitally focused media company” called the Alabama Media Group.  Read more on

According to Newspaper Layoffs  for 2012, there have been more than 1850 layoffs and buyouts have occurred thus far at U.S. newspapers.  Here is a list by the same source of closed print newspapers.

Tracing the decline and death of each newspapers is tough.  But, a report from the in 2010 on page 41 shows a list of about 212 closed newspapers from 2007-2010 [ it also offers some excellent historical insights as well].

Newspapers across the country have experienced severe cutbacks during the past decade, which has undermined their ability to perform their role as the nation’s watchdog.

Ad revenue dropped nearly 48 percent between 2005 and 2010, and with it the industry’s annual spending on reporting and editing capacity dropped by $1.6 billion, from 2006 to 2009, a reduction of more than 25 percent, according to the Pew Research Center’s

Project for Excellence in Journalism and Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute. The number of full-time journalists at daily newspapers fell from a peak of about 56,900 in 1989 to 41,600 in 2010, a level not seen since before the Watergate era.

Below is more information about are some of those newspapers which died in 2009.   As you may have noticed, newspapers had a very rough year.  But you may not quite appreciate the magnitude of the collapse, just from 2009 alone. “Today is the end of an era,” said Cynthia Cather Burton, editor of the 104-year-old Clarke Courier.

Just in 2009:

  • 105 newspapers have been shuttered.
  • more than 10,000 newspaper jobs were lost.
  • Print ad sales fell 30% in Q1 ’09.
  • 23 of the top 25 newspapers reported circulation declines between 7% and 20%

Here is a list of the dead Newspapers from 2009:

West Bloomfield Eccentric
Troy Eccentric
Rochester Eccentric
Southfield Eccentric
The Carson Times
Douglas Times
Fallon Star Presss
The Daily Reporter
Dennis Pennysaver
Yarmouth Pennysaver
East Bridgewater Star
West Bridgewater Times
Whitman Times
Hanson Town Crier
Plymouth Bulletin
Algonquin Countryside
Cary-Grove Countryside
Wauconda Courier
Arlington Heights Post
Elk Grove Times
Hoffman Estates Review
Palatine Countryside
Rolling Meadows Review
Schaumburg Review Bloomfield Journal
Windsor Journal
Windsor Locks Journal
Coatesville Ledger
Donegal Ledger
Downingtown Ledger
Doylestown Patriot 
East Hartford Gazette
Elizabethtown Chronicle 
Gazette Advertiser
Germantown Courier
Mount Airy Times Express
Harlem Valley Times
Millbrook Round Table
Voice Ledger
Hyde Park Townsman
The Independent
New Hope Gazette
Northern Star
Oxford Tribune
Parkesburg Post Ledger
Solanco Sun Ledger 
Pawling News Chronicle
Petoskey Citizen-Journal
Putnam County Courier 
Quakertown Free Press
Register Herald
The Town Meeting
American Fork Citizen
Lehi Free Press
Lone Peak Press
Orem Times
Pleasant Grove Review
Baltimore Examiner
The Bethel Beacon
The Brookfield Journal
The Kent Good Times Dispatch
The Litchfield Enquirer
Big Sky Sun
The Bulletin
The City Star
Dakota Journal
The Democrat
East Iowa Herald
Fort Collins Now
Grapevine Sun
Hardee Sun
The Hershey Chronicle
Hill Country View
Iraan News
Jeanerette Enterprise
The Journal-Messenger
LA City Beat
Lake Elmo Leader
Lake Norman Times
Lakota Journal
Los Gatos Weekender
West San Jose Resident
Maricopa Tribune
McCamey News
The Milford Observer
Ming Pao New York
Ming Pao San Francisco
The Newton Record
Oak Cliff Tribune
The Rockingham News
Rocky Mountain News
Stillwater Courier
Vail Sun
Valley Journal
The Weekly Almanac
Wheeling Countryside
Des Plaines Times
Mount Prospect Times

So what are we to do? Where will the local obituary postings go? Newspapers also supplied huge amounts of revenue to the postal system for shipping. Is it also somewhat linked to the decline of the US Post Office as well? It is indeed having a ripple effect, I am sure. But, I digress.

Is you newspaper dead?  What do you do for your news now?  I am particularly interested in the older age groups who may not use social media and the Internet so profusely.

Feel free to tell me about your dead newspaper, provide it’s  name in the comments section, and what you miss most about print news.

The following state of our media, trends and information comes directly from PEW’s  recent 2012 State of the Media Report which also show significant changes in how people get their news.

PEW indicates that 70% of Facebook news consumers get most of their story links from friends and family.

And, only 13% say most links that they follow come from news organizations. On Twitter, however, the mix is more even: 36% say most of the links they follow come from friends and family, 27% say most come from news organizations, and 18% mostly follow links from non-news entities such as think tanks.

By 2015, roughly one out of every five display ad dollars is expected to go to Facebook, according to the same source. So who is still putting advertising in newspapers?   Well here are some more interesting facts.

As many as 100 newspapers are expected in coming months to join the roughly 150 dailies that have already moved to some kind of digital subscription model.

In part, newspapers are making this move after witnessing the success of The New York Times, which now has roughly 390,000 online subscribers.  The move is also driven by steep drops in ad revenue. Newspaper industry revenue — circulation and advertising combined — has shrunk 43% since 2000.

In 2011, newspapers overall lost roughly $10 in print ad revenue for every new $1 gained online. (That suggests no improvement from what a separate PEJ study of 38 papers found regarding 2010, when the print losses to digital gains in the sample were a $7-to-$1 ratio.)

Furthermore, newsrooms continued to shrink as companies, to remain in the black, felt the need for more rounds of cost reductions. The contemporary newsroom has fewer articles to produce after trims in the physical size of paper and reduction of the space devoted to news. But the remaining editors and reporters are also being stretched further by the need to generate content suitable for smartphones and tablets as well as establishing a social media presence.

This is all in addition to putting out the print paper daily and feeding breaking news to websites. In company management, the shift to outsiders with backgrounds in digital, especially at major companies, was striking.

The CEOs of Gannett (Craig Dubow) and the industry’s largest private company, Media News (William Dean Singleton), stepped aside for health reasons.

New York Times chief executive Janet Robinson retired under pressure late in the year. Associated Press president and chief executive Tom Curley announced early in 2012 that he would be retiring, too. During the course of the year, the top editor’s job turned over at The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and a host of metros.

Newspapers began changing hands again in late 2011. The trend of private equity owners gaining control through bankruptcy proceedings continues to grow and they tend to take an aggressive approach to digital transition. The most high-profile example is John Paton, the chief executive backed by Alden Global Capital, who is pursuing a “digital-first” strategy at the Journal Register and MediaNews Group papers.The biggest of the private equity takeovers will come when Tribune Company bankruptcy proceedings, now in their fourth year, conclude.

Probably the biggest transaction in 2011 was the $143 million sale of The New York Times’ 16-paper region group to Halifax Media, a company formed two years ago to buy The Daytona Beach News-Journal. The Times had assembled the papers and run them at high profit margins in the 1970s and 1980s to balance out business ups and downs at its flagship paper. Lately, the regional group was shedding revenue faster than The New York Times itself, so the company chose to sell the papers and invest the proceeds in digital development.

Important footnotes to read more about this overall topic.

  1. comScore. “Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices Are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits.” Subscriber-access only at October 2011.
  2. eMarketer. “Facebook’s US User Growth Slows but Twitter Sees Double-Digit Gains.” March 5, 2012.
  3. Olmstead, Kenny; Mitchell, Amy, and Rosenstiel, Tom. “Navigating News Online: Where People Go, How They Get There and What Lures Them Away.” Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. May 9, 2011.
  4. Search Engine Use 2012.” Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. March 9, 2012.
  5. The Facebook Fascination on Social Media.” Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Feb. 2, 2012.

I for one, will miss print news both from a sniff and scratch standpoint but also because three generations in my family have been associated with news and journalism in one way or another. First with my grandmother who was a published philatelic journalist,  my father wrote for his school newspaper, and I have written and published news both locally and nationally.

Thanks for reading!

The Penny Press in France & Le Petite Journal Illustre

April 24, 2012 5 comments


It has been unseasonably cold and rainy the past couple of days, so I thought I would tackle a little history project I have wanted to write about regarding a particular little penny press newspaper.  

As of January 2012, The New York Times raised its daily price to $2.50! Think back to the penny press at the turn of the last century, have you ever wondered what such a paper would cost today, inflation adjusted? Answer: a quarter (Source Article: (Jeff Jarvis). The picture to the left is a copy of an original penny press newspaper which I own and bought in the south of France, in 1994.   I had just completed my public relations degree and was studying the French language in Aix-en Provence.  At the time, I considered not bringing the two antique newspapers with me because I and my two children were carrying backpacks and only one small rolling bag. I was afraid of damaging it on the flight back to the United States. I am so glad that I chose to hand carry it and it survived.

In the 1880′s, this newspaper only cost a penny! The original historic art print alone is priceless, in my humble opinion. Journalism has been a career thread which has run in our family, but I did not know that when I started my course work.  I only learned of it later from my father once I began taking journalism courses during the second year during my undergraduate work.   My grandmother, Edith Faulstich was a Philatelic journalist.  Below is a short list regarding some of her writing history:

1)‘Newark Sunday News’ for 26 year (Nov. 24, 1946–1972)
2)‘The Record”, Hackensack, New Jersey ( 1961–1966)
3) ‘Bergen Evening Record” (January 16, 1922 -Sept 14, 1968)

Faulstich was also editor of: (see publication source addresses here)
4) ‘Postal History Journal’ from May 1957 (Vol.1. No.1) to 1967
5) ‘Western Stamp Collector’
6)‘Covers’, and
7)‘The Essay-Proof Journal’

But, I digress a bit. As this is post is about this specific Penny Press newspaper from France.

The ” Little Diary “is one of the oldest newspapers in France. It began publication in 1863 and the creation should be considered as one of the events most deeply embedded into the life of Parisians of yesteryear. In the history of the press, that is more that a mere episode, that is the memorable date of a revolution, not only in journalism but in social manners.

The present generation can not imagine what newspaper industry was like before the appearance of the five cent newspaper. This popular newspaper brought it within the reach of every budget in France.  But, it was also during a time when the press did not enjoy any freedom of the Press.

Legislators had made it suspicious  and was newspapers were relegated extensively.  The Government of the day placed heavy bonds; censorship, jealous watching  of publishers -very closely, and with the slightest hint of criticism, the slightest allusion to political bashing, heavy fines fell upon the publisher as thick as hail; to recidivism, that was the prohibition of the times. The prohibition of free speech, in France.

As a result it is enough to say that the masses of people, workers, employees, petty bourgeois were condemned not to read newspapers. The wealthy themselves are looked at twice before they subscribed to a newspaper. Some would only read the newspaper reading room, on the others’ subscriptions when they heard of their neighbors  taking out a subscription to one of the largest newspapers of Paris.

Millaud had, by way of creating the Little Diary, other intentions. Rather, to give each person an every day look at life, an echo of national life: information, news story, inspired by the chronic current events, talks about the theater, variety, novels, but no politics! The Government Policy, that was then certain death. And news had to live. The Diary lived indeed.

~ Jean Lecocq. (Almanac 1940)

Le Petit Journal (Journal was sold for a penny: 5 centimes) on 1-2-1863 was created by Moses (said Polydore) Millaud, non-political and therefore not stamped, at half-size, consisting originally of four pages, eight pages as of 1898 and six in 1901.

The aim was to attract the maximum number of subscriptions and to attract advertising. The dominant strategy was to sell at the lowest possible price. In 1863, Moses Polydore Millaud widely publicized “Le Petit Journal” and is the first French newspaper whose strategy was to create access based on the sensational. The selling price was also low in order to make it a popular newspaper, for everyone.

For failing to pay the stamp (5 cents per issue) that made the business impossible, the newspaper was apolitical. The authorities of the Second Empire favored the development of this cheap sheet and its competitors.

After September 4, 1870, with the stamp removed, Le Petit Journal was able to talk politics.

Despite some crises – in 1870, more than 400,000 copies were sold, and in 1892, one million copies.

Girardin took control in 1873. In 1937, it drew more than 150,000 copies when it became the organ of the Social français.

Replié in Clermont-Ferrand in June 1940, Le Petit Journal lived, poorly, until 1944, during which time he/it received a monthly grant from the Vichy government. Schedules of weekly publications, the most famous was his Supplement illustrated in color, whose images offered a picturesque example of the sights and popular ideology of the century.

The success of this penny newspaper caused a surge in a new type of periodicals (eg the Petit Parisien. Le Petit Parisien founded by Louis Andrieux, 1879, the first No. 16-10-1870.

The press has, throughout of 19 th century, evolved according to its industries and new technical possibilities. After the 1881 Act and during the 1890s, the press was still characterized by diversity, each with its French newspaper owner.

At the end of the century, the ground was laid, for the crisis that will soon shake the country: newspapers become a real power of the people.

Printed on the rotary machine chrono-type Marinoni

The Diary, in those heroic days, had not his print to it. No one knew yet that a single printing process: the draw that flat n ‘impressed that a copy of four pages at once and, because of the slowness s’ did the work, inevitably it restricted the paper’s circulation. Readers soon answered so many of the calls, that the printing Serrière declared himself unable to drasw enough alone.

It was therefore necessary to provide for the best merchants at the time, and use multiple printers. However, printing at that time, was not a free industry. We had to open one, buy a patent, and patents, whose numbers were limited, were in the hands of the printers who guarded them jealously and shared customers by various specialties: Books, newspapers, catalogs, paperwork , etc.. Newspaper printing was grouped around the Grange-boat-and growing. One of the busiest was the printing Schiller, 10 and 11, Faubourg Montmartre: it was responsible for some of the copies of Diary.

The First Rotary Press

Hippolyte Marinoni could have been, in the words then of a spiritual writer, “a romantic hero for his own newspaper” The son of a policeman of Corsican origin, he had in his childhood, kept cattle. And, he was far from being ashamed of his humble origin. Marinoni was a laborer in a factory of hand presses and type-founder.

Finally, in 1872, he realized the extraordinary invention of the rotary press with automatic feeder and continuous paper, regularly pulling 40,000 copies per hour. Some years after, he built the great Marinoni rotary multicolor printing press, which churned out 20,000 copies from a single shot in six colors, which were printed as illustrated publications, succédanées of Petite Journal, including the  Illustrated Diary , which were hand drawn, once a week, and printed up to twelve hundred thousand copies.

History of How the “Little Illustrated Journal” was Published

(Imperfectly Translated from French).  The Department of this newspaper asked its readers to stay in close communion and this wish was fulfilled for a longtime as a result of the huge number of letters received,  offering approval and very sincere encouragement. Therefore, we thought it would be nice to keep the paper alive, showing a little of thier lives, and the succession of different yet consistent efforts, necessary for the manufacture of a newspaper, and to penetrate deep Behind the Scenes – dare I say – of a large illustrated weekly like ours. 

 Here, as elsewhere, the division of labor was required. Above all, who is the Director, based on experience and knowledge to satisfy the public, giving directions to follow and supervise its execution. Under him, the writing service, editor, general secretary, implements and oversaw that her designs are shown.  Thus, each week, the Director took care of the editorial materials, which would form the number for the following week. These materials were of two kinds: first, what is known in terms of the business, the “copy”, that is to say, articles and stories, then the illustrations, including drawings and photographs. 

It was very delicate work back then, not only because it had to please the greatest number of readers, because everyone did not have the same tastes, but also because it had to be interesting to follow the news. News was and still is fleeting. What is interesting one day may no longer be the week after. But the manufacture of a weekly is infinitely longer than a day. We may at any time be too late. 

The materials were gathered into the hands of the editor. It then went immediately to the internal executing agencies.  The “copy” first, was sent to he service composition without review. Previously, they couldn’t  ignore it, because they knew that the composition of type had to be done by hand. The characters, distributed into the type compartments with lead  “breaks”, for each and every line of news which was laid out one by one, all by hand by a worker who formed lines. It was very time consuming labor.

 “Today”, much has been simplified and enables this work to be completed by using machines called linotypes. These have a linotype keyboard not unlike that of typewriters. Just to the operator – which is often an operator – to press each key on the keyboard so that the matrix of the corresponding letter comes down in a compartment intended for receiving. When the line is complete, a single shot lever activates the machine. The set of matrices is shown in the orifice of a home with molten lead. The result is a small tablet which bears on one of its edges, the embossed characters of the entire line. Matrices are automatically removed and distributed into the store from which they emerge, again, then the operator presses the corresponding key. 

Just as there were typists more skillful than others, there were also more skilled operators. On average, a good operator dialed 6,000 letters, 150 lines per hour. 

 The picture to the left is titled” Component of youth operators for creating   newspaper articles sitting at the linotype machine”

When an entire article or a story was composed, we made a test by passing over the surface of the thick ink, and then laying on top of it a sheet of paper and hitting it with a big brush. The test thus obtained wass assigned to a grader, who read the test “copy” and pointed out errors in the composition. Errors were corrected to the linotype by redoing the entire line.
Only the titles were still made with movable type, one by one by hand. It was the beginning of the use of making specialized headlines.


Meanwhile, the illustrations are processed by the photo etching. The illustrations were created in black ink and photographs are reproduced by a process, common in those days, whose origins date back to Talbot’s invention in 1852 . 

For the longest time, it’ is true that we only knew of the woodcut pictures which were only created and obtained by arduous manual labor from an artist, sculpting virtually on a board of boxwood and engraving it, chiseling the art worked well.  Thanks to an ingenious use of photography, they mechanically reproduced art on zinc or copper plates for the illustrations for the newspaper. 

The process is similar, though more delicate and complicated for large color compositions, which were located on the first and last page of the Illustrated Diary. Note, however, we had a need to get as many pictures as there were colors in the universe. For black, blue, yellow and red, that’s four shots that would be later set on the press and on which turned the white paper into colorful art.  Four colors, you say! But there were more than four colors in the prints that illustrated the newspaper? No doubt, but the green is obtained by superposition of blue and yellow and other colors by layering the same kind.


And they met the “copy” and illustrations clichés. Then begins the work of layout.  This job runs on large tables that, for a very old tradition, we continue to call “home plate”. Under the supervision of Secretary of writing which indicates the position of articles and photographs, these are arranged in forms or large cast iron frames that tightly clasp. When this work is completed, it is, the content of each form, a race named special “morass.” The morasses are revised by the corrector, which seeks to track the latest faults are forgotten or layout errors.Then the editor examines in turn and, if it has no comment to make, given the right to shoot.

If we drew on hardware platforms, we could immediately bring these forms to the printer. But everyone knows that more these days, are used for rotating the huge prints of the great modern newspapers. Transformative work is still needed. He runs to the stereotype.  There, introduced forms are placed in a special machine that molds them on a print taken by a kind of wide paper carton hurry. This blank, it curves to give the exact shape corresponding to the rotating rollers. Finally, each blank, and curved, is used to make one or more curved, and it is these images, the result of a sequence of transformations, which will finally get the newspaper.

The stereotype where the forms are used to make cylindrical clichés, is noted to the right. Now, this is the last part of whee the job execution begins on one of those admirable rotating machines in which the invention is due to Hippolyte Marinoni, both creator of modern printing and for many years director of the Petit Journal.

Under the orders of the chief driver, snapshots from the stereotype are set on the rollers of the machine and the big roll of paper begins to unfold its leaves through the endless maze of wheels, connecting rods and countless bodies of steel.

Despite the appearance, start-up demand meticulous care. Because of the four different inks used for color prints, you must engage in a very delicate work of identification. We must also adjust the pressure on the plates and the arrival of the inks so that the text is neither too gray or too dark. Finally everything is ready, after many hours of experience and tests. The great “roto” starts to devour the paper at full speed and make it in the form of copies printed, folded, cut, such that we can finally see, a few days later, in depositories and in newsagents all over France.
It will be appreciated by comparing two numbers, the benefits of rotary flat on the machine, it once drew an average of 2,000 sheets per day. The rotary Illustrated Diary , though less rapid than that of a newspaper, printed only in black, delivers 10,000 copies per hour. - R

The presses were used every week to get the ‘Petit Journal Illustrated and printed for circulation”  

Thanks for reading about the history of this newspaper from 1894. If you have any tidbits of history to add or comments about the paper, or the history of the penny press I would welcome insights and additional information.

Now, onto finding out the history of my other little French newspaper printed March 1891, Le Soleil du Dimanche, all 16 pages!

Read About the state of our media! Pew’s 2010 Report

January 29, 2011 Comments off

Old media are trying to imagine the new smaller newsroom of the future in the relic of their old ones. New media are imagining the new newsroom from a blank slate.   Among the critical questions all this will pose: Is there some collaborative model that would allow citizens and journalists to have the best of both worlds and add more capacity here? What ethical values about news will settle in at these sites? Will legacy and new media continue to cooperate more, sharing stories and pooling resources, and if they do, how can one operation vouch for the fairness and accuracy of something they did not produce?

The year ahead will not settle any of these. But the urgency of these questions will become more pronounced. And ultimately the players may be quite different.

“I think the answer may come from places staffed by young people who understand the new technology and its potential and who have a passion for journalism,” said Larry Jinks, the highly regarded former editor and publisher who transformed the San Jose Mercury News a generation ago and who still sits on the board of the McClatchy Company.

The full report and trends by media channel are located directly 

If you have time, might I also suggest browsing through:

1.       Key Findings

2.       Major Trends  

3.       Nielsen’s Media Analysis:

4.       List of who owns the top media companies

A few top level snippets of summaries are noted below:

1.       Cable: For the third consecutive year, only digital and cable news saw audiences grow among the key sectors that deliver news. In cable in 2009, those gains were largely captured by one network, Fox, though during the day, a breaking-news time, CNN also gained viewers.

2.       What’s more, the data continue to suggest a clear pattern in how Americans gravitate for news: people are increasingly “on demand” consumers, seeking platforms where they can get the news they want when they want it from a variety of sources rather than have to come at appointed times and to one news organization. Online, Yahoo News is on top with MSNBC and CNN next, AOL and then NY Times.

3.       Newspapers saw print circulation losses accelerate in 2009. In the latest period, September, industry-wide circulation fell 10.6% from a year earlier. That comes on top of losses of 4.6% in 2008. The industry has lost 25.6% in daily circulation since 2000. Those declines, however, pale by comparison to the loss in revenues, which represent a more significant problem.

4.       Audio audiences are more stable. Fully 236 million Americans listened to at least some radio in an average week in the fall of 2009, a number that has been basically static for the past five years, and news/talk/information remains among the most popular formats. NPR’s audience in 2009 rose slightly, up 0.1%, from 2008. But new technology is encroaching on the amount of traditional radio use. More than 4 –in 10 Americans now say they listen to less terrestrial radio due to iPod/MP3 use, and nearly 1in 3 now say they listen to online radio.

What are your thoughts on the media industry? How have the changes and economy impacted your media relations, journalism career? How have you adapted with the changes?

Fresh News Tidbits from Media

August 20, 2010 3 comments

Original Source:

NPR’s Hour-By-Hour Audience By Platform (NPR)
Wonder what NPR’s audience looks like by the hour? They compiled information to see how their audience engages with NPR content on an average weekday, Saturday, and Sunday across all platforms. During the week, NPR programming on the air is consumed most during the morning and evening “drive times.”, on the other hand, has the most users during the day. As for mobile platforms, the NPR News iPhone app has a slight bump in traffic in the mid-morning and evens out throughout the day.

Facebook Places: What It Means For Media Brands (eMediaVitals)
Instead of simply taking the best of Gowalla and Foursquare’s features, Facebook is opening up its platform for developers via an API. Launch partners Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla all discussed how their apps will now interface with the Facebook API. Media companies can begin integrating this API into their own mobile apps. There’s even a B2B application. WebNewser: Foursquare might be quaking in its boots following the launch of Facebook Places, but executives from Google and Twitter speaking at the 140 Characters Conference in San Francisco said the new service signals the “mainstreaming” of “check-in” behavior — and that’s a good thing. “Check-in is becoming more and more of a core action,” said Othman Laraki, Twitter’s director for geo-location and search features.

Time Inc. Breaks The iPad Logjam (Fortune)
The People app may signal the end of a four-and-a-half-month impasse that put the digital dreams of every major magazine publisher on hold. Until now, the iPad versions of People, Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune have cost the same as the newsstand price, even if you were already paying to get the paper edition in the mail. That changed with this week’s People iPad app, which is, for the first time, free to the magazine’s subscribers.

Get Ready For Ads In Books (WSJ)
With e-reader prices dropping like a stone and major tech players jumping into the book retail business, what room is left for publishers’ profits? The surprising answer: ads. They’re coming soon to a book near you. To understand why this is inevitable, consider the past few years. The historically staid and technology-averse publishing ecosystem has been ripped apart and transformed.

GalleyCat: On Thursday, publishing folk around the Twitter-sphere debated one question all day: Should we put advertisements in books? Movable Type Literary Group founder Jason Ashlock started the Twitter hashtag “adsinbooks” by writing: “About this advertising in books idea. Is it really that bad? Obv we don’t want it to disrupt the reading experience, but … Isn’t there a way to incorporate select, tasteful adverts that provide revenue, appeal to readers sensibilities?”

No News At The New York Times Magazine (WWD)
The proposals are in to executive editor Bill Keller, but that’s as far as The New York Times has gotten in the process of finding a successor for Gerry Marzorati, the editor of the Times‘ Sunday magazine. In late June, Marzorati was reassigned by Keller to a newly created, amorphous position at the company. At the time, Keller said he would be accepting applications for the job via e-mail through July 31 and that Marzorati would stay on as editor through the end of the summer. Now, sources say that Keller and Co. haven’t begun to meet with candidates and are hoping to name a successor by the end of next month.

What Exactly Is Augmented Reality? (Folio:)
A growing number of magazines over the last several months have tapped into augmented reality with the goal of expanding the traditional print content experience with web-based video or other electronic delivery. But, what’s the difference between, say, Popular Science‘s interactive 3-D turbine and TONY Kids‘ video? Is one AR and the other just 2-D image recognition? What exactly is augmented reality?

Gannett Debuts School Sports Microsites (B&C)

Gannett is launching more than 100 co-branded local sports sites out of its division. Gannett says the “microsites,” a joint operation between Gannett’s TV, newspaper and web outfits, are expected to reach 9.4 million unique monthly visitors. The venture debuts this month in 38 Gannett markets, including Atlanta, Washington, DC and Denver. The rest of the Gannett markets will have the sites in place by the end of the year.

Gawker’s No Longer A Blog (TheWrap)
Gawker is no longer a blog. And Nick Denton no longer runs a blog network. The logic, according to a couple of people with knowledge of the company’s plans, is that they’ve largely outgrown the blog format, with new visitors entering and exiting its sites without seeing “the big story” of the day — stories that can attract and retain new readers. The idea is to showcase the most appealing stories, not merely the latest, for the 17 million people (on average) visiting its network in the U.S. each month.

Beyond The Barcode: Combining Print And Mobile Platforms (Folio:)

Advertisers can customize the message they want to send to consumers with Pongr, a technology that’s been used by Marie Claire and for b2b applications as well, including a company selling $350,000 tractors. “All that customer wanted was a return that said ‘Click here to talk to a representative immediately,’” says Pongr senior vice president of sales Wright Ferguson Jr. “That makes sense when you’re talking about an extremely detailed, high ticket item.”

from’s blogs:


eBookNewser: Google & Verizon Rumored to Launch Tablet in November
WebNewser: Kelly Wallace Talks About Making the Jump to New Media
TVNewser: Brian Williams: Katie Couric ‘Always Welcome’ at NBC
PRNewser: PondelWilkinson Picks Up George Medici
FishbowlNY: Fareed Zakaria Joins Time Magazine
FishbowlDC: Best Story Pitch of the Day?
FishbowlLA: LiLo To Make A Cool Million for Her First Post-Jail Interview?
GalleyCat: Facebook Your New or Upcoming Book
MediaJobsDaily: How To Spice Up Your Resume, Socially
UnBeige: Finalists’ Design Plans Released for St. Louis Arch Competition
AgencySpy: McCann Responds to Mad Men Dis
MobileContentToday: RIM BlackBerry Bad News Piling Up. Is RIM the Next Nokia?
SocialTimes: Columbia Grad Wants To Sue Anonymous YouTube User Over Video Comments
AllFacebook: The One Reason Your Facebook Page Strategy Doesn’t Work

List of US Military Base Newspapers

August 17, 2010 2 comments

List of Base Newspapers
This listing does not include 24 overseas base newspapers.
Ft. Rucker
Maxwell AFB
Gunter AFS
Redstone Arsenal
Eielson AFB
Elmendorf AFB
Fort Richardson
Fort Wainwright
Fort Greely
Little Rock AFB
Davis-Monthan AFB
Ft. Huachuca
Luke AFB
29 Palms MCB
Barstow MCLB
Beale AFB
Camp Pendleton MCB
China Lake NWS
Edwards AFB
Fort Irwin National Training Center
Le Moore NAS
Los Angeles AFB
March AFB
Miramar MCAS
NAS Miramar
Naval Training Center
SD Submarine Support Facility
SD Naval Hospital
NAS North Island
Coronado Amphibious Base
San Diego Naval Station
Point Mugu NAS
Port Hueneme
CBC Construction Battallion
Presidio of Monterey
Navy Postgraduate School
CG on the Monterey Peninsula
Pt. Hueneme
Pt. Mugu
Seal Beach Weapons Station
Selected Naval Units
Travis AFB
Buckley ANGB
Ft. Carson
Peterson AFB
Schriever AFB
U.S. Air Force Academy
New London NSB
Dover AFB
AFDW (Bolling AFB)
All U.S. Navy Headquarters
Henderson Hall
Cameron Station
Ft. Myer
Ft. McNair
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Eglin AFB
Hurlburt Field
Jacksonville NAS
Key West NAS
MacDill AFB
Mayport NS
Patrick AFB
Cape Kennedy
Pensacola NAS
Albany MCLB
Ft. Benning
Ft. Gordon
Ft. McPherson
Ft. Gillem
Ft. Stewart
Hunter Airfield
Moody AFB
Robins AFB
Submarine Base Kings Bay
Hickam AFB
Wheeler AFB
Kaneohe MCBH
Pearl Harbor NC
Schofield Barracks
Ft. DeRussey
Ft. Shafter
Aliamanu Crater
Tripler Hospital
Mountain Home AFB
Great Lakes NTS
Scott AFB
Ft. Leavenworth
Ft. Riley
McConnell AFB
Ft. Campbell
Ft. Knox
Barksdale AFB
Ft. Polk
New Orleans Naval Support Activity
Laurence G. Hanscom Field
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Andrews AFB
Bethesda National Naval Medical Center
Ft. Detrick
Ft. Meade
Indian Head Division
Naval Surface Warfare Center
Patuxent NAS
U.S. Naval Academy
North Severn Naval Station, Annapolis
Columbus AFB
Gulfport NCBC
Keesler AFB
Meridian NAS
Ft. Leonard Wood
Whiteman AFB
Malmstrom AFB
Offutt AFB
Nellis AFB
ARDEC (U.S. Army Armament Research Development & Engineering Center)
Ft. Dix
Lakehurst NAWC
Ft. Monmouth
Cannon AFB
Holloman AFB
Kirtland AFB
White Sand Missile Range
Ft. Drum
Naval Stations Brooklyn & Staten Island
U.S. Navy Home Pt.
Ft. Hamilton
Governor’s Island
Coast Guard Academy
Army Marine Terminal
Mitchel Field
USMA (West Point)
Camp LeJeune
Cherry Point MCAS
Ft. Bragg
Pope AFB
New River MCAS
Seymour Johnson AFB
Grand Forks AFB
Minot AFB
Wright-Patterson AFB
Altus AFB
Ft. Sill
Tinker AFB
Vance AFB
Newport NB
Beaufort MCAS
Parris Island MCRD
Charleston AFB
Charleston NB
Ft. Jackson
Shaw AFB
Ellsworth AFB
Arnold AFB
Memphis NAS
Brooks City Base
Corpus Christi NAS
Dyess AFB
Ft. Bliss
Ft. Hood
Ft. Sam Houston
Wilford Hall Medical Centers
Brooks AFB
Goodfellow AFB
Ingleside Naval Station
Lackland AFB/Kelly AFB
Laughlin AFB
Randolph AFB
Sheppard AFB
Hill AFB
Ft. Belvoir
Ft. Eustis
Ft. Story
Ft. Lee
Ft. Monroe
Langley AFB
NAS Oceana
Naval Surface Warfare Center
Norfolk NB
Little Creek NAB
Quantico MCB
Bremerton NS
Kitsap NB
Bremerton Naval Hospital
Port Hadlock NWS
Puget Sound
Fairchild AFB
Ft. Lewis
McChord AFB
Whidbey Island NAS
Ft. McCoy
F.E. Warren AFB

News 2.0 & PR 2.0

January 20, 2010 Comments off

            Old Press, Printing Press, Newpaper Press, Newspapers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In This post looks at some reasons why you should consider rebuilding your Internet news pages & pess releases.  In times of crisis, our level of news consciousness is raised, therefore making it a perfect time to look inward and ask how you would apply Web 2.0 to your communication efforts.  The Red Cross effectively demonstrated the value of NOW PR with the Haitian Crisis.  The time is ripe to strategically evaluate, modernize and rebuild your Internet media webpages & Internet news releases from News 1.0 to News 2.0.

Have you noticed that with all the new technology, Web 2.0 and social media capabilities that many (most) Website based “news” pages for businesses, non profits and government agencies still have just lines and lines and lines of hyperlinks to traditional news release formats that do not inform, do not captivate journalists,  nor engage people into becoming your co-information partners to act. 

These same online news pages do not encourage anyone to return, to use, to publish or to share your news, or your media releases as earned media.  It’s time for new rules, new tools, and new forms of audience engagement.  But, before digging in deeper, I would like to offer a historic perspective to begin, as a frame of reference.

  A Brief Historical Perspective

I am a strong believer in looking back to be able to look forward. It serves well for context in moving forward with strategic planning and forward thinking.  I am now going to  upset the apple cart.  Are your Internet based news releases still following the traditional “papered” press format?  Why? And, how are you communicating news?

Do you know that the industry standard and widely accepted inverted AP style press release format and summary news lead dates back to the progressive era (1860- 1910), as a result of the advent of an emerging new technology and to “fit” telegraph wire transmissions?  (1892: Chicago editor’s “Who or what? How? When? Where?” advice is  use 5W leads)

“Three aspects of the Progressive Era may account for the change in journalism style. First, there was a surge in scientific discoveries, inventions and thought.  Second, the surge in science provoked a corresponding revolution in education. And third, the revolution in education changed not only the general public and its interest in, and thereby its demand for, the facts, but also profoundly changed the journalists who wrote the news.  The changes of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Gilded Age, or Mark Twain’s “Big Barbeque,” followed by the Progressive Era were profound.  Science and invention revolutionized transportation, communication, business, and agriculture.  …College educated, the leaders of the Progressive movement believed, as the universities increasingly taught, that science could be used as a tool for reform, a tool to cure societal ills.  …The newspaper industry as well as the newsroom was feeling the influence of postwar changes; the physical look and content of papers was altered substantially.  Headlines became integrated into the design, simultaneously attracting readers and teasing the news content of a story. The Civil War had broken the editorial stranglehold on the front page. Readers demanded news from the battlefields; official dispatches had been featured prominently, bumping long-winded essays to later pages. While advertising sales supplanted circulation sales as the chief source of income for newspapers, advertisers too lost their monopoly of the front Printing expenses were high, but new presses could print unprecedented numbers of papers, balancing the cost. Press associations, wire services and chains afforded more news coverage. More hard news was becoming the premium.”

If, those of us in the PR, media, journalism, public affairs professions are all jumping on blogs, Twitter and Facebook  but not even updating our 19th and 20th century press and media practices, nor Web 2.0 enabling our own “media store fronts”  are we being counter intuitive?  This could be a major strategic mistep in times of crisis or during a need for immediacy(or Now PR).  Are you still operating in the 1860-1945 era, in theory and in practice?  Hmmm… just how are your media results from your very own Internet news pages?   Do you have any audience engagement on your news pages?

By the late nineteenth century, E.W. Scripps had begun his newspaper chain. Like magazines which were gaining in popularity and competing with newspapers for readership, chains sought to provide specialized papers for the masses. But unlike magazines, chain papers were inexpensive and free from advertiser and special interest control.40 Scripps also realized that a heavy-handed editorial policy would be deadly:  Believe in the people; “vox populi” may not always be vox Dei, but it is the nearest thing we’ve got, and if we follow that, we shall not be far wrong — thus shall  we develop a true and enlightened democracy.41 By the end of the nineteenth century, in other words, a changing audience was controlling a changing newspaper focus.

“That was the beginning of the golden age of American newspaper journalism,” T.H. Watkins wrote in his biography of Harold L. Ickes, one of the more fiery of the Progressives. It was a period that extended from about 1890 to World War II, after which the world of journalism, like every other world, changed forever… The men and women whose names survived that remarkable era are invariably described as “legendary,” and they defined the reporter’s breed for all time.”

Commercial reporters were sought out of the graduating classes of such Ivy league universities as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia, where we let it be known that writers were wanted –– not newspaper professionals, but writers. . . .

 Modern communication integration efforts have to start at “home first”  with your own Internet site.   We have all these technical capabilities. but most of our online news rooms reside firmly planted like an ancient rock going no where, rather a Guttenberg press with no ink, a space ship with no fuel, a hockey team with a stick to drive the puck.  So, there “it” sits, going nowhere.

Therefore, I assert that there is an overwhelming critical need to innovate your Internet media, and Internet press releases no matter if your are a corporation, small business, nonprofit organization or government agency.  

Here is a recent article on one problematic scenario, a lack of  updated technology, specific to government. President Obama said in this article, “that improving the technology used by the government” isn’t about having the fanciest bells and whistles on our websites – it’s about how we use the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to make government (and business and media) work better for them.”  

Are your news websites and press releases using and applying New 2.0 technology and tool to work for the PEOPLE who need to find you in today’s Web 2.0 enabled era?

This does not mean jumping out there and getting on all the OTHER emerging external “social channels” without a strategic roadmap.   Again, taking care of your own store front first is critical first step.  Once your house is in order, then you can start applying your own news pages and press releases to the other bells and whistles out there-strategically.  Do you realize some news Internet pages do not even have strategic key words built into the back side of their Internet news pages so search engines, journalists and people can find out about your news?   Sorry, I digress.

So, with that said, I encourage communication professionals, CEOs, and leaders to begin planning now for “spring cleaning.”  As I mentioned in previous posts, its all about NOW PR or continuous communications.   But, another element to the news arena is the current media trends.  A new PR modality is evolving.   And, unless you are aware of the media trends and changes you will be literally left  behind blowing smoke into the winds of change.  More to the point, spending LOTS of money with very little results. 

A Brief Perspective on Current Media Trends

(Source: PEW) New patterns in news consumption and a deteriorating economy deepened the emerging cracks in the economic foundation of the media in 2008. In a big news year, most media continued to see audiences shrink. And, how audiences consume media is changing.   

Only two platforms clearly grew: the Internet, where the gains seemed more structural, and cable, where they were more event-specific.  This is an important to take note of.  Here is a brief look at the battering year for the news industry as measured by six key indicators: audience, economics, news investment, ownership and digital trends:

So, in determining the initial steps to restructure, revamp, update and Web 2.0 enable your Internet news pages, press releases  and News 2.0 strategy would entail some planning.

1) Ascertain what strategic function of your new Web 2.0 enabled Webpages will serve, who it will serve and how it will serve your specific target audiences. Is it journalists, Editors, your competitors or the public?  Which public?   If you have to go back and perform updated specific target audience research please do so!

2) Plan/WhiteBoard/ Wiremap what your updated Web 2.0 enabled news rooms should look structurally and functionally when incorporating new functionalities.  If you are a large organization a News 2.0 Camp might be a good idea.

3) Do the same for your Web 2.0 enable press releases as well.  Plan/WhiteBoard/ Wiremap/Revamp the structure of your press releases. Get out of the stone age, and innovate as this is not the early 1900′s.  I think, we are just a tad bit beyond that era now, are we not?    Risk changing, adapting and innovating but strategically.  Dare to develop a new press release standard that is Web 2.0 enabled for the “new wire”

Let’s take a virtual field trip,  after reading this blog post go out and look at how some others are doing it? Let’s compare notes on the good, the bad and the ugly and those who are applying bleeding edge New News.  A strategic blending of Web 2.0, Now PR and social mobility.

Here is an example of the good, Now PR and News 2.0

(Source: With the widespread adoption of social media in the non-profit sector, people’s ability to act and support communities in need like Haiti has only been increased. There’s no greater example of this than the incredible fundraising job the American Red Cross did with social and mobile channels. With its texting campaign, the American Red Cross raised more than $20 million.  “The speed and quantity with which the American public retweeted and posted to Facebook the need for donations to help with relief efforts in Haiti was (for anything we’ve seen at the Red Cross) unprecedented,” said Wendy Harman, the social media manager at the American Red Cross. “This was the first time I truly felt like people were using these tools to take action for good. They actually texted “Haiti” to 90999, more than 2 million people did it… the impact was huge — that money is providing people with basic needs like water. I have no doubt it wouldn’t have spread so widely without social media.”  Overall, Americans raised more than $200 million to benefit Haiti in only 7 days.  Simply astounding.

What might you include in your new Internet News Room as a Web 2.0  innovation? Ask your employees.  Ask your media contacts how might your Internet News Room better serve them?

Need help? I am available to assist with strategic planning sessions to help get your organization strategically moving towards         PR 2.0. Email me at alicemfisher58 at yahoo dot com, follow on Twitter@unlimitedpr, or join others of us at!

Media Landscape Part II

October 10, 2009 3 comments

Well, yesterday  I wrote about the fact that PEW’s 2009 State of the Media Report findings indicated that in the U.S. only about 34% of the population is reading newspapers (personally, I think that is a bit high) and of that number, the readership population is predominantly an older generation, with a few younger audiences  scattered throughout.  Newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23% in the last two years. Some papers are in bankruptcy, and others have lost three-quarters of their value.

By recent calculations, nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009? Well, that remains to be seen.

And, today, I read AP news and a few others want to charge money for online news content.  “AP, News Corp bosses tell search engines and bloggers that it is time to pay up” Would you pay for online news?  I am not as versed on the international media landscape, but I am sure changes are being felt or noticed overseas as well. I did find a traditional media landscape for Europe for anyone who wants to dig into that area a bit deeper.  But, I digress.

OK, so, does AP and the top News Corp bosses sound a bit panicked here? are they mad?  Is this an attempt to recover from their own dismal landslide in revenues, as previously noted in the Pew 2009 State of the Media Report? I welcome opinions.

Long story short, print media, i.e. newspapers are struggling.  And, if you are unaware of the social media landscape, then developing your strategic public affairs or media relations plan for your organization could render results less than spectacular- you could be in a print newspaper black hole and not even know it.  But, who is reading print these days anyway?  As I mentioned in my previous blog, only about 34% of the people are doing so. And, what predominant age group? 65+ years old. Is this the circle of influencers or your target audience that you want to reach?  I beg, please dig deeper.

When I stumble across companies jumping into the waters of social media unaware “because everyone is doing it or  because it’s the hottest thing out there”, or because public relations agencies are pushing social media practices as a “must have” for their clients as part of their new tool box of capabilities-I become just a little nervous.  But, contrary to what many may say, social media is not a silver bullet, nor is it ideal for every company. It’s a strategy that should be carefully and strategically researched and considered and its subsequent tools which are designed to take companies to where their target audiences are already conversing.

So, today I want to look at what that “new landscape” might look like with a bit more depth. Ultimately, our goal should be to prepare to advance from the basic direct one-way communication strategy, using those basic media tools of yesterday to a more aligned two-way continuous communications model/strategy where there is true engagement.  How, might you ask?

Before you start touting social media, please make sure your own site, your own news room, and press releases are Web 2.0 enabled. Are your own senior executives embracing and using the new media landscape?

Well, first off you need to know what the new media landscape looks like.  With a little research I came across a great little visual source which I just have to share which is a little farther below. After taking a look at it, I image you may be saying…”How can you achieve continuous communications across so many channels, simultaneously?  Believe me, there is a way to do this with a couple strategies. But, stay tuned, as I will get to that on my next blog post.  Now back to our landscape work.

Like I said, being aware of the media landscape is important.  The traditional media sources should not be completely ignored nor forgotten but part of your entire media mix.  Therefore, I am providing a couple of links to the top 100 US newspapers , the top 100 international newspapers, top radio stations by state and DMA as well as TV networks. We will now take into consideration the “other new” channels.

There is no question that social media is responsible for a dramatic shift in the relationship between those who produce news and those who consume it.  And, both traditional and new media are very fragmented.  But, consider it another step in the evolution of a more mature continuous communications model.  YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, to name just a few, are all incorporating innovative uses of the Internet.  Who are the top dogs (Websites) in the US?

News subscribers are no longer defined as simple recipients of news, getting information by only reading newspapers, watching television or listening to reports on the radio.  Today, consumers of news are also gatherers and distributors of news: they take part in creating it, capturing it, re shaping and disseminating it.

In fact, in a survey of 50 radio newsrooms in the top 50-markets, News Generation uncovered the impact that social media is having in the newsroom.  The survey found that nearly half of the newsrooms (45%) use Twitter and Facebook, to offer their technologically savvy audiences an extension to conventional radio to provide another broadcast platform.  But, there are so many other channels within the social media construct. Therefore, I would like to introduce the social media prism, a lense through which each petal represents a social media channel.


Source: Strategically, as a communications professional or agency professional, you should want to find yourself at the center of the prism – whether you’re observing, listening or participating. So, with this conversation landscape noted above, how does one manage all the channels?  How can you be “one with a channel” or even begin to strategize and garner results with this much fragmentation?  Does it make you dizzy just thinking about it?  But, to resonate, to be heard, to listen, to be in the mix, you do have to have some idea of what it all looks like and who is out there.

From my observations, there seems to be four main Web 2.o usages that have evolved.  And, the various topical usage tools and services displayed in this landscape are listed below.

1. Expressing tools allow users to express themselves, discuss and  their social life:

2. Sharing tools allow users to publish and share content:

3. Networking tools allow users to search, connect and interact with each other’s:

4. Playing services that now integrate strong social features:

But, for the communication professional, public affairs, media relations professional do you have to be on top and up to speed on all of them and have uptine # of channel masters working each one? I can hear someone saying in the background now, “I am going to have a media meltdown. How can I keep up?”

Is media still top down? Is it direct one-way communications any more?  Or, is it top down and bottom up simultaneously? Anyone have other thoughts on this evolving social media landscape?  Hurry, it will change yet again! :)

Next, we will look at how to distribute through and connect across multiple media channels after you have strategically performed your target audience research.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Sincerely, Alice M. Fisher

Tips For A Changing Media Landscape (Part I)

October 9, 2009 2 comments

The press and traditional media landscape has and is changing rapidly.

I read a nice blog titled 10 Tips to Go from Nobody to Front Page News.

It was a great little read and provided an overview or a review of the basics.  I question, are these the right tips for a changing media landscape?  What is your opinion?

The blog did not cover the realities of the changing news landscape, nor how we need to be aware of the lay of the land. We need to be very targeted in our outreach and know how to access a variety of media channels for greater Internet penetration and not just a single media placement in hardcopy newspapers.

1) Being aware of the annual Pew State of the Media Report from 2009. It is a valuable read for anyone planning or needing to plan for strategic media outreach.

The average age/readership of newspaper consumption is way down. (I quote in part below from PEW) see directly below.

“Among readers of all ages, readership declined between 2007 and 2008. Young people in the age groups of 18 to 24, and 25 to 34 continue to have the lowest readership levels of daily newspapers.”

“Among readers 18 to 24 years of age, 31% say they read a newspaper yesterday, according to data from Scarborough Research. This represents a drop of two percentage points from the prior year. Those in the 25-to-34 age group do not demonstrate much better numbers. Readership of daily newspapers was down to 32%, also down two percentage points from 2007.”

“Those aged 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 also showed declines in readership in 2008. Readership of daily newspapers was down to 41% and 51%, respectively, among the age groups.”

“And, even the most faithful readers of newspapers, older people, or those ages 55 – to 64 and 65 and above have shown sharp drops in readership since 2000. In 2008, readership was down to 57% among 55-to-64-year-olds, a drop of nine percentage points since 2000. Those 65 and older showed an even greater drop.”

“Although 64% say they picked up a newspaper yesterday, this number has declined from 72% in 2000, an eight percentage point difference.”

The study, released in August, found that those who said they had read a newspaper yesterday 34%, compared to 40% two years earlier. Wow. Are we not even reading print anymore?

At best, only 34% are reading a newspaper?! Really? That low? And, predominantly 50 and older?

So, that tells me you need to know where the people are, how and what they are reading/viewing and target to very specific niches by doing your research in advance to create your media strategy.

2) Knowing how and where to reach traditional journalists, J-bloggers, hard print news distribution sources, e-news and commenting on virtualized news aggregate sites are all important tactics to the whole strategic element of nurturing a communications strategy.

Over all, the total number of daily newspapers continued to significantly decline. In 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, daily newspapers were down to 1,422 in that year from 1,437 in 2006. Of the total number of daily newspapers, evening papers continued to decline, while those in the morning continued a trend of growth. In 2007, the number of evening papers declined by 49. This compares with a drop of 31 evening papers from 2005 to 2006.

Although those newspaper numbers are changing with declining there is still value in getting earned or paid “Ink.”

Some of the players of the paid media distribution arena are PRNewswire, Businesswire, Cision, AP News, UPI, XpressPress, Reuters, VocusPR and each has their strengths in the distribution arena. There are others. And, there are sources you can use that are free.

There is more to the press release and pitch today than meets the eye. There are public relations software tools and resources including media research, media lists, press clipping services, media monitoring services and evaluation of media coverage.

But, more importantly, most companies, organizations, agencies and people are not building evolved news pages, evolved press releases or evolved media sites to accomodate and integrate the new media landscape across multiple channels.

Ask yourself, are you still writing and posting press releases the way they were developed in the early 1900′s, which were originally formatted for the telegraph wire for transmission? And, if your answer is “because that’s the way it’s always been done?”  Then, I believe this single issue is ripe for greater discussion to evolve the press release format.

I suggest, learn how social media has challenged and changed traditional communication structures and prepare for that part of your entire integrated communication and news strategy.

Sound, informed media intelligence and media insight helps improve your communication performance, build your reputation and maximize the results of your integrated communication and marketing efforts.

I welcome questions and any additional comments.

When was the last time you read a newspaper cover to cover? Is it important to you? Why or Why not?

Please stay tuned, as my next blog on this topic will cover an overview of the communication landscape, according to the available channel choices, and how to link across multiple channels for continuous communications.

Most Sincerely,

Alice M. Fisher


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