Hard Times at the Nation's Newspapers

August 24, 1990

Report Outline
Special Focus

Introduction

Newspapers, though still very profitable, are losing both readers and advertising dollars at an alarming rate. In response, newspaper publishers are cutting costs and developing new products and features aimed at narrowly targeted, generally affluent, readers. But some in the industry worry that in the pursuit of higher profits publishers are compromising quality and letting marketing considerations affect news selection. And they fear these trends will accelerate because so many newspapers now face little or no competition, are publicly owned and are part of large newspaper chains.

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Overview

What's black and white and re(a)d all over?

The old riddle is seriously out of date. Not only are today's newspapers increasingly turning to full-color photos and “infographics,” but readership has fallen to the point where some question whether newspapers are still a mass medium.

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