Media Magazine

The Question of Frequency for Newspapers

Posted on the 24 November 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: It’s the elephant in the room of newsrooms, particularly in the US; will newspapers stop being “dailies” and publish less often?  The conversation continues.

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It has happened—-with some success—-in Detroit: the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News, partners through a joint operating agreements in December 2008 announced that they were cutting back home delivery to three days a week. Slimmed-down versions of the paper are available at newsstands on the other days. I imagine there was some shock at first, then readers got used to it.

In September, the Philadelphia Daily News announced that it was stopping publication of its rather thin Saturday edition. Instead, the Daily News is producing a weekly called SportsWeek to appeal to sports-crazed Philadelphians.

On October 28, 2008, the venerable Christian Science Monitor announced that it would go online only Monday-Friday, with a printed weekend edition in the form of a
a weekly news magazine with an international focus.

Will this be the way most dailies go?

Nobody can say for certain, and, even if it happens to more newspapers, it will be different in various parts of the country and the world. However, based on personal observation, I think that the less than daily printed model may be the way to go for many newspapers, with readers still getting the daily news fix through the digital editions.  With the advent of the iPad, which so closely resembles the print experience (but perhaps with better possibilities), the idea of “printing” less than daily becomes a more attractive offer.  Readers will appreciate their more robust print weekend edition, in any case.
If I were the editor of a medium to large metropolitan daily, with a tight budget, I would invest on the improvement of the weekend product. For sure.

The topic was recently brought up in a piece published in the AJR (American Journalism Review):

- USA: Will Dailies Stay Daily?

TheMarioBlog post #899

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