Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Than Ads & Agate

What Newspapers Do

“As for the arguments that newspapers just want to sell newspapers, those who make them don’t understand the news business. If that were true, newspapers would simply fill their pages and websites with sports, celebrity gossip and entertainment news. Some profitable tabloids already use this formula. That’s what sells, but it does not promote a democratic (or republican) form of government. The fact that ... news organizations make such a large expenditure of resources to cover local and state government, even in the face of some public apathy, illustrates this commitment.”
—Joel Campbell, columnist and BYU journalism professor, “Legislators can’t blame open-records woes on media overkill,” The Salt Lake Tribune, March 19, 2011

Editorial Comment: And recipes. Newspapers have great Velveeta recipes.

PR Conference Today & Tomorrow: Utah State’s PRSSA chapter hosts the Mountain West Regional Public Relations Conference, this Thursday-Friday in Logan, Utah. Click here for information.

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1 comment:

  1. With all due respect for Prof. Joel, newspapers as rational economic actors supply a blend of news that matters and news that mostly entertains based on the owner's assessment of how much public service the company is willing to provide and what ratio of substantive and sensational generates the most profit. They know that if newspapers focused just on entertainment they'd lose the news audience. If they focused just on substantive news, they'd lose the folks who read mostly for diversion. From an economic perspective, the sweet spot blends both. Given that the market for entertainment has many more suppliers than the market for news at the metro level, what's in the paper has to pass for news in the local marketplace.