Crisis of 2009
The newspaper industry is currently in decline around the world, because of the influence of 24 hour television news channels and the Internet as sources of news. The Recession of 2008 hammered newspapers hard, because their main revenue source is advertising for new houses, jobs, automobiles and department stores, all of which cut back sharply. Since December 2008, numerous major newspapers have entered bankruptcy, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Daily News, Los Angeles Times, and Minneapolis Star Tribune, while Denver's Rocky Mountain News and Tucson's Citizen shut down; other major papers may follow them to the morgue. There was an abysmal sales price for Philadelphia's two major newspapers: only $55 million total. Apparently liberal claptrap is not worth much.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer in March 2009 became the largest American paper to drop its print edition and become an Internet-only publication. It cut its news staff from 165 journalists to only 20. A part of the Hearst chain, the P-I had a print circulation of 118,000 a day but lost $14 million in 2008 and no one wanted to buy it. Seattle still has a daily print paper, the Seattle Times, but it too is in deep financial trouble. USA Today, which distributes half its papers through hotels and does not depend on advertising, is cutting back as circulation fell from 2.3 to 2.2 million copies a day.
Papers that continue in operation have lost revenue and been forced to cut staff in all departments. The New York Times news department peaked at more than 1,330 employees in 2008; by late 2009 it was down to 1,250 and planning to cut more jobs; no other American newspaper has more than about 750.
Some metropolitan papers have fewer than half as many people in their newsrooms as they did a few years ago. The Los Angeles Times by late 2009 dropped to about 600 news employees, from more than 1,200; The Washington Post to about 700, from more than 900; and The Boston Globe, to 300, from well over 500.
Liberal and conservative
In terms of prestige newspapers, the The New York Times and The Washington Post, are liberal, while the Wall Street Journal is conservative. Local newspapers tend to be conservative. Prominent conservative viewpoints appear in the The Washington Times, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. Some newspapers have changed their political slant over time: the New York Post has gone back and forth between a liberal slant and a conservative one, depending on its owner at the time, it currently has a conservative slant under the ownership of News Corporation. It endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2006, illustrating that newspapers can adapt their editorial views to the local market. Likewise the Chicago Tribune once had conservative editorial positions but is now more liberal.
In 1850-1950 most cities, even small ones, had several daily newspapers, each catering to a political party or faction. The trend in recent years has been toward consolidation as cities are no longer being able to support so many newspapers. Washington, D.C., for example, now has only two daily newspapers. Another trend in recent years is the proliferation of free weekly newspapers. These make their money selling advertising and are distributed to readers free of charge. Many of these free weeklies are socially liberal.
First Party System
During the First Party System, newspapers proliferated because they were sponsored by the two main parties, the Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans. John Fenno began publishing his Gazette of the United States in April 1789 hoping it would become the official paper of the newly formed national government; soon Alexander Hamilton was encouraging and subsidizing him. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, leading the opposition to Hamilton, persuaded Philip M. Freneau, a brilliant poet, to found the National Gazette in Philadelphia in October 1791. Jefferson even put Freneau on the State Department payroll. The National Gazette at first served as a successful political tool for the Jeffersonians as it defined arguments against Hamilton's policies while rebutting Fenno's editorials. The National Gazette collapsed in 1793 due to weak circulation and the political fallout over Jefferson and Madison's financial involvement in founding the paper.
Hamilton set uip his own stable of Federalist papers. His editor in New York City was Noah Webster. In 1793, Hamilton loaned him $1500 to move to New York City and edit a newspaper for the new Federalist Party. In December Webster founded New York's first daily newspaper, American Minerva (later known as The Commercial Advertiser). He edited it for four years, writing the equivalent of 20 volumes of articles and editorials. He also published the semi-weekly publication, The Herald, A Gazette for the country (later known as The New York Spectator). As a partisan, he soon was denounced by the Republicans as "a pusillanimous, half-begotten, self-dubbed patriot," "an incurable lunatic," and "a deceitful newsmonger ... Pedagogue and Quack." Fellow Federalist Cobbett labeled him "a traitor to the cause of Federalism", calling him "a toad in the service of sans-cullottism," "a prostitute wretch," "a great fool, and a barefaced liar," "a spiteful viper," and "a maniacal pedant." The master of words was distressed. Even the use of words like "the people," "democracy," and "equality" in public debate bothered him, for such words were "metaphysical abstractions that either have no meaning, or at least none that mere mortals can comprehend." 
By 1796, both parties had a national network of newspapers, which attacked each other vehemently. In 1802 the New York Evening Post, with large amounts of advertising by Federalist merchants, published a daily edition for 1100 subscribers in the city, and a weekly edition that circulated to 1600 subscribers nationwide. The Federalist and Republican newspapers of the 1790s traded vicious barbs. Hamilton's vices, both personal and political, were favorite targets.
Late-19th-century big city newspapers such as the Chicago Daily News - founded in 1875 by Melville E. Stone - ushered in an era of news reporting that was, unlike earlier periods, in tune with the particulars of community life in specific cities. Vigorous competition between older and newer-style city papers soon broke out, centered on civic activism and sensationalist reporting of urban political issues and the numerous problems associated with rapid urban growth. In Chicago competition was especially fierce between the Chicago Times (Democratic), the Chicago Tribune, (Republican) and the Daily News (independent), with the latter becoming the city's most popular paper by the 1880s.
Yellow Journalism is an unflattering term used to describe media coverage that is sensationalized in order to bring about a desired result. While not necessarily outright lies, it plays rather loosely with the truth or presents information in a way where conclusions are reached that might not be drawn if all information was presented.
It downplays legitimate news in favor of eye-catching headlines that sell more newspapers. It may feature exaggerations of news events, scandals, sex, weird events or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or journalists. Campbell (2001) defines Yellow Press newspapers as having daily multi-column front-page headlines covering a variety of topics, such as sports and scandal, using bold layouts (with large illustrations and perhaps color), heavy reliance on unnamed sources, and unabashed self-promotion.
Mott defines Yellow Journalism in terms of five characteristics:
- scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
- lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
- use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
- emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips (which is now normal in the U.S.)
- dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system.
The term was extensively used to describe certain major New York City newspapers about 1900 as they battled for circulation. By extension the term is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion, such as systematic political bias.
Both Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst are associated with bringing yellow journalism into American society through their newspapers in the later half of the nineteenth century. The prominence of yellow journalism was especially notable in coverage of the Spanish occupation of Cuba and Pulitzer and Hearst took credit for the Spanish American War that followed, but historians dispute the claim. Their papers reached only New York City readers, and it was the rest of the country that demanded war in 1898.
Newspapers in the Internet Age: 1970-2009
Rapid decline in circulation
The circulation of the nation’s daily newspapers plunged during 2006, in one of the sharpest declines in recent history. The slide continues a decades-long trend and adds to the woes of a mature industry already struggling with layoffs and facing the potential sale of some of its flagships. In addition newsstand sales of magazines fell more than 4 percent, to about 48.7 million copies. Among domestic newsweeklies, Time magazine reported the biggest drop. Analysts pointed to the increased use of the Internet, noting that more people in 2006 read the New York Times online than on paper. Newspaper readership goes up with education, and education levels are rising. That favorable trend is offset by the choice of people in each age group to read fewer papers. 
After 1950 newspaper readership grew slower than the population. After 1990 the number of readers started to decline. The number of papers also declined, especially as afternoon papers collapsed in the face of television news. However sales of advertising remained strong and profits were still high. In 2002, newspapers reported advertising revenues of $44 billion. According to Morton Research, a market analysis firm, in 2003, the 13 major publicly traded newspaper companies earned an average pretax profit margin of 19 percent.
Newspapers do have one advantage over news channels that have helped them stay afloat: there is no way to send comics over the airwaves. Therefore, newspapers make money by publishing comic strips like "For Better Or For Worse", "Mallard Fillmore", and the popular "Mutts".
Spanish and Asian language newspapers
The Latino Print Network estimated the combined circulation of all Hispanic newspapers in the United States at 16.2 million in 2003. Mainstream (English) daily newspapers owned 46 Hispanic publications—nearly all of them weeklies—that have a combined circulation of 2.9 million. From 1990 to 2000, the number of Hispanic newspapers alone nearly doubled from 355 to 652
In 1976 the Miami Herald started El Herald, a one-page Spanish insert that was reborn in 1987 as El Nuevo Herald, a daily supplement to the Miami Herald. El Nuevo Herald became independent of the 'Herald in 1998 and by 2003 had an average daily circulation of 90,300. In 1981, the Gannett chain entered daily Spanish publishing when it bought El Diario/La Prensa, a 52,000-circulation New York City tabloid that is the nation's oldest Spanish daily.
The Tribune Co., Belo Corp. and Knight Ridder launched daily Spanish-language papers in 2003. Hispanic-oriented newspapers and magazines generated $1.3 billion in revenue in 2002. By comparison, the operating revenue that year for Knight Ridder's 32 papers was $2.8 billion. Readership remains small, however. New York City already had two Spanish-language dailies with a combined circulation of about 100,000, as well as papers from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and a score of weeklies. But Louis Sito said their "circulation levels were very, very minimal when compared to the population size." (New York, population 8 million, is 27 percent Hispanic; the Bronx, 1.3 million, is 48 percent Hispanic.) Sito urged Newsday publisher Raymond A. Jansen to launch a daily instead of a weekly, and Hoy premiered on November 16, 1998, with a circulation of 25,000. By 2003, Hoy sold 91,000 copies a day in the New York metro area. The Dallas-Fort Worth market contains 1.3 million Latinos—22 percent of the population and growing (estimated to reach 38 percent by 2006). The Dallas Morning News developed Al Día to entice that audience. The Monday-through-Saturday paper debuted in September 2003 with a staff of 50, an initial circulation of 40,000 and a newsstand price of 25 cents. Diario La Estrella began in 1994 as a dual-language insert of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and first grew into an all-Spanish stand-alone paper with a twice-weekly total circulation of 75,000 copies distributed free via newsstands and selective home delivery.
With the notable exception of Viet Mercury, a five-year-old, 35,000-circulation weekly Vietnamese-language paper published by Knight Ridder's San Jose Mercury News, U.S. media companies have generally eschewed the Asian market even though daily papers in Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese are thriving in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities. The Mandarin-language World Journal, which distributes from San Francisco to Toronto and states a circulation (unaudited) of 350,000. World Journal; its biggest competitor, Sing Tao (181,000 circulation unaudited); and Korea Times (254,000, also unaudited) are owned by international media giants based in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Seoul, respectively.
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