Skip to Content

A Medium In Trouble

Newspapers rather than radio were the real casualty of television; their numbers keep shrinking. The tradition of the American newspaper reporter as portrayed in films and literature is one of toughness, controversy, and conflicts between honest reporting and the desire to sell newspapers. Today the modern day newspaper is more of a business (and less of a labor of love), often owned by a large conglomerate or newspaper chain. Despite many “shake-outs” in the newspaper industry, newspapers continue to be vital and to serve their communities with news, features and advertising. As the nation becomes “wired” for the Internet, newspapers are rapidly going online.

The Sunday paper is an American tradition, thick with specialized sections covering sports, comics, lifestyle, travel, regional and community events. Often the Sunday paper will have its own magazine section and plenty of advertising inserts.

Most cities and communities have daily newspapers, appearing either mornings or evenings. The United States has only two national daily newspapers, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Major city papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times are also sold and read on a national basis. These newspapers put their local area news in a section separate from the world and national news so that it can be omitted in the national editions.

Thousands of weekly newspapers serve American communities and neighborhoods. Some are given out free and supported by advertising. These weeklies are quite different from the dailies and serve a different purpose. Both kinds of newspapers are worth reading as sources of information about consumer issues, local events, employment and business opportunities, and to learn about the life and needs of the community in general.

Next Section:Tabloid Weeklies

American Culture: Chapter Home

Life in the USA Home Page.