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A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis
Unformatted Document Text:  2! A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis According to the New York Times, 2009 was the worst year for the U.S. newspaper business in decades (Pérez-Peña, 2010). The industry suffered dramatic declines in circulation and advertising revenue. Several newspapers reduced delivery, some filed for bankruptcy, many laid off employees, and a few went online-only, or folded altogether. Newspapers covered this seemingly unprecedented “crisis” of their own industry extensively—much more so than television news outlets covered theirs (Roodhouse, Carpini, Lee, & Venger, 2009). But some emotional sentiments appeared to characterize newspapers’ coverage of this market downturn, evident in headlines that were part witty and part sensational, such as “Extra! Extra! Are Newspapers Dying?” (Lieberman, 2009), “Some Senatorial Tears for the Ink-Stained Wretches” (Milbank, 2009), and “Paper’s Peril Hits a Nerve” (Pérez-Peña, 2009). 1 Such coverage drew substantial attention to the state of the newspaper but also raised questions about whether journalists over-reacted to this market downturn. Media economics scholar Robert Picard indicated that “[p]ublishers and journalists have become their own worst enemy,” because “they are running around arguing the sky is falling. And they’re making the situation appear far worse than it is” (Lieberman, 2009). Some observers expressed concerns that reporting the crisis so thoroughly may actually harm journalism (International Journalists’ Network, 2009). !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " !Among the other headlines of this variety in magazines and online: “How to Save Your Newspaper” (Isaacson, 2009), “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America” (McIntyre, 2009), and “Is There Life After Newspapers?” (Hodierne, 2009).!

Authors: Chyi, H. Iris., Lewis, Seth. and Zheng, Nan.
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2!
 
 
 
A Matter of Life and Death? 
Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis 
 
 
According to the New York Times, 2009 was the worst year for the U.S. 
newspaper business in decades (Pérez-Peña, 2010). The industry suffered dramatic 
declines in circulation and advertising revenue. Several newspapers reduced delivery, 
some filed for bankruptcy, many laid off employees, and a few went online-only, or 
folded altogether. 
Newspapers covered this seemingly unprecedented “crisis” of their own 
industry extensively—much more so than television news outlets covered theirs 
(Roodhouse, Carpini, Lee, & Venger, 2009). But some emotional sentiments 
appeared to characterize newspapers’ coverage of this market downturn, evident in 
headlines that were part witty and part sensational, such as “Extra! Extra! Are 
Newspapers Dying?” (Lieberman, 2009), “Some Senatorial Tears for the Ink-Stained 
Wretches” (Milbank, 2009), and “Paper’s Peril Hits a Nerve” (Pérez-Peña, 2009).
1
  
Such coverage drew substantial attention to the state of the newspaper but also 
raised questions about whether journalists over-reacted to this market downturn. 
Media economics scholar Robert Picard indicated that “[p]ublishers and journalists 
have become their own worst enemy,” because “they are running around arguing the 
sky is falling. And they’re making the situation appear far worse than it is” 
(Lieberman, 2009). Some observers expressed concerns that reporting the crisis so 
thoroughly may actually harm journalism (International Journalists’ Network, 2009).  
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"
!Among the other headlines of this variety in magazines and online: “How to Save Your Newspaper” 
(Isaacson, 2009), “The 10 Most Endangered Newspapers in America” (McIntyre, 2009), and “Is There 
Life After Newspapers?” (Hodierne, 2009).!


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