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While 69 percent of Americans say that it wouldn’t have a major impact on their lives if their local newspaper no longer existed, the truth is that in actual practice, we actually rely on the local paper for more than we realize.
The table below summarizes findings from the Pew Research Center. You can see the data here.
|Type of News||How we prefer to get it|
|Community events, crime, taxes, local government, arts/culture, social services, zoning, development||Primary local newspapers, with TV as a secondary source for local politics.|
|Housing, schools, jobs||Newspapers & Internet (tie)|
|Local political news||Newspapers & TV (tie)|
|Weather, breaking news||TV|
|Traffic||TV & radio (tie)|
|Restaurants & other local businesses||Internet|
I was working at The Birmingham News when we converted from the old presses
(which dated back to before World War II) to a shiny new Goss Metroliner offset. They had to dig down so far I thought I saw they’d hit China, and the hole took up a big chunk of a city block.
If the Annenberg School’s forecast is right and nearly all print newspapers will be gone in five years, I guess there’s not much point in having those enormous buildings that house them. You can put all the reporters you can use on a single floor of nearly any decent sized office tower.
So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that newspapers are selling their buildings at a nice clip (and in a few cases, at some nice prices).
That means certain ways of spelling and using words are embedded in people’s minds, and if you deviate much from the standard, they’ll view your writing as amateurish and sloppy.
You can get it on Amazon for about $11. (I almost said eleven bucks. Guess why I didn’t.)
A few spoilers:
website. Not Web Site or web site
email. Not e-mail
social media. Not Social Media.
Google, Googling, Googled. Google is always capitalized, even when used as a verb.
Get it. Learn it. Use words the way the pros do.
If you’re one of those folks who complain about media use of anonymous sources, you won’t like this: Use of anonymous sources has been pretty much declining since the 1970s, and the current use is about what it was in 1958.
The numbers were compiled by Matt Duffy, a professor at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi who worked on the study with Prof. Ann E. Williams of Georgia State University.
The slides from Duffy’s upcoming presentation — slated for the upcoming conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication — are posted here, and the data is summarized in an excellent Poynter article. Duffy noted that even in the 21% of stories using anonymous sources, reporters now do a better job of explaining the reasons.
For years, I’ve been frustrated by TV reporters who move seamlessly from crime to social events to courtrooms and never seem to know much about anything. So when one of these reporters (I call them butterflies) tries to cover business, he or she is a lost ball in high weeds. For the record, I don’t blame the reporters themselves. They’re generally well educated and smart. It’s just that their organizations feel they can’t afford the luxury of letting a reporter stay on a beat long enough to really understand it. As recently as this summer, the FCC Working Group on the Information Needs of Communities said that “in depth, investigative, and beat reporting are declining” in TV news organizations.
But at least some TV news organizations are starting to revive the beat system – at least to a degree, according to TVNewsCheck. Nobody seems to foresee a return to the old days, but at least some are giving lip service to the idea, assigning reporters to focus on specific areas even as they wear multiple hats.