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COMM002: Media and Society

Unit 5: Newspapers and Magazines in a Changing World   Newspapers and magazines sometimes are called “legacy media”: media that existed before the Internet, for centuries in the case of newspapers and magazines. Calling the newspaper a “legacy” also implies that its time has passed. But newspapers and magazines persist, despite severe economic pressure. The unfolding of the newspaper over morning coffee is still a ritual many of us enjoy. Printed forms of magazines and newspapers also survive for economic reasons: the online versions still do not generate the advertising dollars needed to run large newsgathering operations. In this unit, we will examine the important democratic functions newspapers and magazines have served in the United States, and we will analyze how those functions might be affected by the inevitable shift to online distribution. As you study this unit, keep one thought in mind: ink on paper is a delivery system, and the real question is, will journalism survive as newspapers and magazines decline

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 11.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.2: 2.25 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 2.5 hours

☐    Unit 5 Assignments: 1 hour

☐    Unit 5 Assessment: 30 minutes

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - summarize the history of newspapers and magazines; - identify and discuss different styles and models of journalism; - explain the role of newspapers and magazines in a democracy; - differentiate between the type of journalism in newspapers and in magazines; and - discuss trends in newspaper and magazine publishing and the effects of the Internet on print journalism.

5.1 Newspapers and Magazines in a Changing World   5.1.1 The History of Newspapers   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Introduction: Newspaper Wars” and “Section 1: History of Newspapers” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Introduction: Newspaper Wars” and “Section 1: History of Newspapers” (PDF)
 
Instructions: These two sections on pages 143-157 provide detailed histories of newspapers. In many ways, magazines and newspapers started from the same place but evolved into different media based on something as simple as how often each was published. Newspapers became an immediate source of news. In subunits to follow, we’ll see how newspapers have been slow to change, and how they are paying the price today.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.1.2 The History of Magazines   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Introduction: Changing Times, Changing Tastes” and “Section 1: History of Magazine Publishing” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Introduction: Changing Times, Changing Tastes” and “Section 1: History of Magazine Publishing” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 5’s Introduction and Section 1 on pages 191-201. Magazines as printed documents probably have a greater chance of survival than newspapers because of the specialized roles they have played in American culture. While a newspaper tries to be all things to all people, magazines can serve niche audiences with articles that conform to the slant of readers. But magazines face challenges, too, in a world of electronic readers and the Internet. As you study the following subunits, try to connect your readings with these chapter sections.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.2 Newspapers Become a Mass Medium   5.2.1 The Penny Press, Sensationalism, and Yellow Journalism   - Reading: University of Virginia: Mary Wood’s The Yellow Kid on the Paper Stage: “Introduction”; “Origins of the Kid: Street Arabs, Slum Life, and Color Presses,” “Realism, Riis, and Crane,” and “The People’s Press”; “Selling the Kid” and “The Role of Yellow Journalism” Link: University of Virginia: Mary Wood’s The Yellow Kid on the Paper Stage: “Introduction” (HMTL); “Origins of the Kid: Street Arabs, Slum Life, and Color Presses” (HTML), “Realism, Riis, and Crane” (HTML), and “The People’s Press” (HTML); “Selling the Kid”(HTML) and “The Role of Yellow Journalism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The story of the Yellow Kid is the story of newspapers becoming a mass medium. Mary Wood’s thorough treatment of the subject provides a glimpse of the first efforts to attract readers of all social classes, of the connection of cartoons with everyday life, and of the origins of the newspaper comic strip.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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5.2.2 The Rise of Wire Services and Objective Journalism   - Reading: History Buff: R. J. Brown’s “The Eleven Editions of the November 3, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune” Link: History Buff: R. J. Brown’s “The Eleven Editions of the November 3, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Over the first half of the 20th Century, the golden age of newspapers, the medium went unchallenged as the first place people went to learn about current events − news as it happened. In 1948, the Chicago Tribune put out 11 editions; on many days, extras (extra editions to trumpet breaking news) were common. R. J. Brown analyzes the editions of the Tribune on one fateful day: Election Day 1948.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.2.3 Objectivity and the Inverted Pyramid   - Reading: The Poynter Institute: Chip Scanlan’s “Birth of the Inverted Pyramid: A Child of Technology, Commerce and History” Link: The Poynter Institute: Chip Scanlan’s “Birth of the Inverted Pyramid: A Child of Technology, Commerce and History” (HTML)
 
Instructions: As the audience for newspapers grew, newspapers adopted a more objective style of writing, and the inverted pyramid story form was born. It is an example of how the medium shapes the message, and of how a medium adapted to becoming a mass medium. This style of writing is still useful today for much of what we read on the Internet.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.2.4 Tabloid vs. Broadsheet: More Than a Question of Page Size   - Web Media: Olivia Grayson-Kirk’s “Comparing Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers” Link: Olivia Grayson-Kirk’s “Comparing Tabloid and Broadsheet Newspapers” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The terms tabloid and broadsheet refer to the two main formats of newspapers. A broadsheet (The New York Times) is about 22 inches tall and about 11½ inches wide. A tabloid (The New York Post) is about 11 inches by 11½ inches, essentially a broadsheet folded in half and read like a book. The first tabloids, and many that we see today at supermarket checkout, specialized in sensational news, heavy on celebrity. The term tabloid journalism has been applied to television shows on the E! Network, radio shows such as Coast to Coast A.M., and magazines such as People. This student presentation compares a story about auto-racing journalist Jeremy Clarkson in two British newspapers. You’ll see the difference immediately.
 
Viewing this presentation should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.2.5 Newspapers and Superstitious Learning   - Reading: Design Journal: Michael O’Donnell’s “Design Comes to the Newsroom” Link: Design Journal: Michael O’Donnell’s “Design Comes to the Newsroom” (HTML)
 
Also available in:
PDF
 
Instructions: In the first half of the 20th Century, newspapers had changed little from those being printed in 1900. Michael O’Donnell’s article makes the claim that newspaper editors had fallen victim to “superstitious learning.” Because newspapers had remained profitable, editors saw the crowded, gray newspaper page as not just correct, but morally correct, like a religion. The article describes one of the first efforts to drag newspapers into the modern age of typography and design. Note that the designer Frank Ariss had to deal with many cultures at the Minneapolis Tribune: journalism, advertising, accounting, and production.
Click through to read all five pages.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource has been reposted with the kind permission of Michael O’Donnell and can be viewed in its original form here. Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without the explicit permission from the copyright holder.

5.2.6 Photojournalism Made Magazines Great   - Reading: Nieman Reports: John G. Morris’s “Get the Picture: A Personal History of Photojournalism” Link: Nieman Reports: John G. Morris’s “Get the Picture: A Personal History of Photojournalism”(HTML)
 
Instructions: John G. Morris was there for “the golden age of photojournalism,” as a picture editor for Life, The Ladies’ Home Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, and as executive editor for Magnum, the photography cooperative. This short history will illustrate the major role photojournalism played in making magazines into a cultural force.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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5.3 Newspapers, Magazines and Culture   5.3.1 Newspapers and Popular Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Section 2: Different Styles and Models of Journalism” and “Section 3: How Newspapers Control the Public’s Access to Information and Impact American Pop Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Section 2: Different Styles and Models of Journalism” (PDF) and “Section 3: How Newspapers Control the Public’s Access to Information and Impact American Pop Culture” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In writing about newspapers, the author emphasizes the duties of journalism in a free society. His emphasis in Section 2, on pages 158-169, and Section 3, on pages 169-174, reinforces the perception that for many in the field of media education, newspapers are journalism, even though one of his major categories of magazines is the news magazine. As you read this section of the textbook, think about how newspaper industry’s decline might be affecting the news we read and view, not just how news comes to us but the content of that news.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.3.2 Magazines and Popular Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 2: The Role of Magazines in the Development of American Popular Culture,” “Section 3: Major Publications in the Magazine Industry,” and “Section 4: How Magazines Control the Public’s Access to Information” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 2: The Role of Magazines in the Development of American Popular Culture,” “Section 3: Major Publications in the Magazine Industry,” and “Section 4: How Magazines Control the Public’s Access to Information” (PDF)
 
Instructions: In Chapter 5, Section 2 (pages 201-208), Section 3 (208-217), and Section 4 (217-221), the author emphasizes culture, especially pop culture, in his discussion of magazines. In Section 5.4, as he did in Section 4.3 for newspapers, he discusses how magazines control information. Ask yourself: in the age of the Internet, is this still a valid idea?
 
Reading these selections and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Licensewithout attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.3.3 The Fourth Estate: Newspapers and Magazines as Watchdogs   5.3.3.1 The New Journalism   - Web Media: iTunes U: The City University of New York: “Gay Talese: Father of the New Journalism” Link: iTunes U: The City University of New York: “Gay Talese: Father of the New Journalism” (iTunes)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and then click on the link titled “View in iTunes” beside podcast 9. Gay Talese is one of the founding fathers of new journalism, what Understanding Media and Culture calls by its alternate name, literary journalism. The new journalism is 50 years old now, but the practice of it still seems fresh. Talese starts his discussion by relating a story about a bridge that turns into one of the hallmarks of literary journalism, the telling of stories about everyday people to illustrate the issues of our society.
 
Listening to this audio podcast and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.
 
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5.3.3.2 Public Support for the Press   - Reading: First Amendment Center: “Public Strongly Backs News Media as ‘Watchdog on Government’” Link: First Amendment Center: “Public Strongly Backs News Media as ‘Watchdog on Government’” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This survey by the First Amendment Center shows that the American public still holds the watchdog function of the press in high regard. Will this continue as newspapers and magazines continue to decline economically?
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.3.4 The Slant, or How Magazines Differ from Newspapers   5.3.4.1 Specialization in Magazines   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 5: Specialization of Magazines” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 5: Specialization of Magazines” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 5, Section 5 on pages 222-228. One thing that separates magazines from newspapers is the slant, or editorial point of view. This isn’t the same thing as a bias, although many magazines have biases. Slant can be defined for a writer as “another layer of meaning in a work, aligned with the perceived needs of the target audience.”[1] The author writes about magazines as specialized publications, another way to think of the slant.
 
Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.3.4.2 Understanding Magazine Audiences   - Reading: Ladies Home Journal: “Mission Statement,” “Adult Audience,” and “Women” Link: Ladies Home Journal: “Mission Statement” (HTML), “Adult Audience” (HTML), and “Women” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Magazines engage in extensive audience research, but unlike newspapers, the findings of this research affect the content of the magazine, from the types of articles printed to the way they are written. That’s why beginning writers are urged to read back issues of a magazine and look over the media kit before submitting an article. Imagine you are that writer. What would your approach be for Ladies Home Journal?
 
Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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  • Reading: Field and Stream: “Brand: Mission”; “Audience: Demos and Circulation,” “Readership,” and “Reach” Link: Field and Stream: “Brand: Mission” (HTML); “Audience: Demos and Circulation” (HTML), “Readership” (HTML), and “Reach” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: If you were a writer, how would your approach to submitting an article to Field and Stream differ from your approach to submitting to Ladies Home Journal (see previous reading)?
     
    Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
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5.4 Can News “Papers” Survive?   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Section 5: Online Journalism Redefines News” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 4, Section 5: Online Journalism Redefines News” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 4, Section 5 on pages 182-187 and keep it in mind as you read the following two subunits.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.4.1 The Death of the News “Paper”   5.4.1.1 Internet Rules the News Scene   - Reading: Pew Research Center: “Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet” Link: Pew Research Center: “Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet” (HTML)
 
Instructions: News and “newspapers” are not one and the same. The Pew Research Center states that 2008 was the first year in which more people got their news online than on paper. Note that in the graph, television looks like the next victim.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.4.1.2 Diversification to the Rescue   - Reading: Fortune: Marc Gunther’s “Can the Washington Post Survive?” Link: Fortune: Marc Gunther’s “Can the Washington Post Survive?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The news about newspapers is grim. Some are in an economic death spiral, cutting staff to survive, and then losing readers to a poorer quality product. Some, like the Washington Post, saw the writing on the screen years ago and started diversifying to lessen reliance on the print product. As you read this, think back to the idea of vertical integration, where one company owns all the parts in the production and distribution chain. Is that what the Post is doing?
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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5.4.2 A Tablet of Hope   5.4.2.1 News Corp. Takes a Risk   - Reading: Ad Age: Michael Learmonth’s “Murdoch’s Tablet Newspaper Experiment The Daily Shows Some Promise” Link: Ad Age: Michael Learmonth’s “Murdoch’s Tablet Newspaper Experiment The Daily Shows Some Promise” (HTML)
 
Instructions: A tablet computer, such as the iPad, and e-readers, such as the Kindle Fire, offer something a conventional website cannot: a way to get users to pay up front. Many newspapers have tried to use pay walls on their websites to generate income, with varying success. Our culture of being web users is such that we expect webpages to be free. But we are already conditioned to buying apps for our tablets and smart phones. Read the article from Ad Age about how media giant News Corps. is trying to exploit this culture of distribution.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.4.2.2 The Daily is in Trouble   - Reading: The Guardian: Frédéric Filloux’s “Murdoch’s The Daily Won’t Take Off” Link: The Guardian: Frédéric Filloux’s “Murdoch’s The Daily Won’t Take Off” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Now read the rest of the story. Audiences are difficult to build in today’s world of fragmented, niche media. And although tablet computers are becoming more and more popular, The Daily suffered from limiting its reach to those who owned one.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.4.3 Magazines Make Their Case   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 6: Influence of the Internet on the Magazine Industry” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 5, Section 6: Influence of the Internet on the Magazine Industry” (PDF)
 
Instructions: At the end of Chapter 5, Section 6 on pages 228-232, Marie Claire editor Joanna Coles says, “As long as people take baths, there will always be a monthly magazine.” Read this section carefully, then connect it to the two readings below.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

5.4.3.1 Take Magazines to the Beach   - Reading: The New York Times: Jeremy W. Peters’s “Magazines Take a Shot at the Net” Link: The New York Times: Jeremy W. Peters’s “Magazines Take a Shot at the Net” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this story about an ad campaign for the printed editions of magazines that touts the printed magazine’s portability and durability − although e-readers are becoming so inexpensive − that focuses on people taking them to the beach. Is a waterproof iPad far behind?
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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5.4.3.2 A Legend Says He Believes in Print   - Reading: Ad Age: Nat Ives’s “Jann Wenner: Magazines’ Rush to iPad is ‘Sheer Insanity and Insecurity and Fear’” Link: Ad Age: Nat Ives’s “Jann Wenner: Magazines’ Rush to iPad is ‘Sheer Insanity and Insecurity and Fear’” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read legendary magazine publisher Jann Wenner’s thoughts about the magazine industry and its future. He believes in print. Do you agree?
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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