Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fast and Easy

As with every era of history, American culture has shifted. Americans now lean towards  a more “push-button mentality,” meaning that people are always searching for quicker, more efficient, and easier ways to do things. An example of this is the love for smartphones. With each new update of smartphones, advertisements shout, "do things simpler and easier," "do things faster", "do them better."


Above is an example from the New IPhone6 Ad. Notice how in that short segment they use words like, "fast, easy, secure" and "You simply pay by placing your finger on the TouchID." These are the types of advancements that play into this American push-button mentality.The overall pace of existence has just been accelerated. It is no longer part of American culture to sit around on a Sunday morning, and read the newspaper for two hours. People are looking for quick sound bites, faster ways to find what they want to know, and as much information as efficiently possible. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Survival of News

American newspapers have lost 42% of their market value (Pew Research Center). Value is measured by the revenue of the paper, which heavily relies on readership. There has been a steep decline in readership, and this affects the job market in the printing industry because in order to gain back economic balance, newsrooms are forced to become frugal and cut newsroom jobs.  According to the American Society of News Editors annual newsroom census, there was “a net loss of another 1,300 full-time professionals last year” (Edmonds). With the shorthand of staff,  newspapers are being forced to consolidate, this means they have to print less words per page and combine with other papers to stay alive. For example, as of October 31st, The Chicago Tribune bought the Sun-Times, “The agreement… brings six daily and 32 weekly suburban newspapers into the Tribune fold, bolstering circulation and revenue while significantly expanding its publishing footprint across the Chicago market, from Waukegan to northwest Indiana” (Channick).

This deal was made to balance the revenue to cost ratio. Buying the Sun-Times would increase circulation of the paper. But consequently, doing this leads to a much less local touch. The paper has to be printed more generally to be able to relate to the wider publishing footprint, making the paper blander and less effective. From a business perspective, advertisers are less likely to print in the paper because it is too much of a risk. Without the money from advertisers and the loyalty of readership, print newspaper is at a loss to the new future of the news.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

News Just For You

Not only did the 1980s give us Full House, New Kids On The Block, and Dirty Dancing but it also gave us the start of the 24 hour news broadcast. Instead of filling up only a 30 minute time slot, reporters are now tasked to fill up 48 of those 30 minute time slots in a day. How much news is there really to report? 

Well really, not much. In a more than competitive race for viewership, overblown stories and biases have engulfed the news. This has created and evident polarization between the different network news stations available on television.

 For example, Fox news has been widely noted as a highly conservative news network, so who do you think their viewers are?

Mainly, white older males.According to a study done through The Wire, " Fox News's viewership is aging out of that key demographic, even as the overall median age of cable news viewers remains high: the median ages for the three cable networks in May were 62.5 (MSNBC), 62.8 (CNN), and 68.8 (Fox News)." 

With the unlimited access to different choices of news, viewers are able to hear the news they want to hear. Is it right for news to appeal to certain audiences? 

All networks make choices on what stories to highlight, which experts to bring in, even the order of the stories that our shown. But, personally, I feel like this leads the general public into opposite ends. With one side not understanding the other and visa-versa. I think generally this is making the public more ignorant to the thoughts of others, by the way they hear the news through different channels. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


In this day and age, in a device that can fit in the back of your pocket, we are able to have access to the weather, the news, our friends, our family, and endless hours of entertainment. The internet. A game changer in more ways than one (to say the least). The internet coincides perfectly with the push-button mentality of American society. "Push-button mentality" meaning finding easier and quicker ways to do things. But with this constant accessibility to this un-quantifiable amount of information, comes obvious draw backs. One industry that has been majorly compromised due to the internet-boom of the last 2 decades is the print news.

Almost all statistics show an evident decline in print newspapers sales. According to McChesney, American newspapers have lost 42% of their market value in the past 3 years. Only 23% of households are delivered a newspaper at the foot of their doors in the morning. So how are people getting their news?

Obviously on the internet, but where?

As of right now, Facebook leads the way as 64% of US adults use the site, while 34% get their news on this site (PewResearchCenter) and this phenomenon is only growing. With the ability of sharing anything with a push of a button internet users almost become reporters, as they weigh in their thoughts and opinions on the breaking news story. This can be dangerous is many ways. With so an overdrive of information, it's becoming harder to find credible news online when almost anyone can write, share, and send a story out to the world. Falsities and rumors tend to go viral, hurting the image of many. Without a whole fact-checking team working behind a print newspaper, information is just released.The easy "fast-food" way of getting the information is through a social media sharing site (i.e. Facebook), not waiting for a print newspaper.

It looks as though this trend of online quick easy news is set for exponential growth, but what this nation needs to adapt to this is a fact-filter to see what is credible/reliable or what's just here to cause a stir.