Monday, June 9, 2008, 11:49 AM

Changing Times for America's Newspapers

If you needed more proof that newspapers are searching for their place in an online world, here a few recent announcements that should convince you.

First, more than 100 employees of The Washington Post accepted buyouts in May, including legends like David Broder, a national political correspondent and columnist, and Tony Kornheiser, a longtime fixture on the sports desk. Announcements like this are increasingly common in today’s newsrooms, as papers suffer from declining circulation and dwindling advertising revenue.

The newspaper industry suffered its lowest level of advertising revenue in 50 years last year, according to a March announcement from the Newspaper Association of America. Further, newspaper circulation declined 3.5% from last year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Tribune company, which owns papers such as The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and The (Baltimore) Sun, plans to cut 500 pages of news each week from its papers.

Despite the public’s transition to new sources of news, newspapers should generally remain a part of any company’s communications strategy. Much of the news we gather from the web, television, or talk radio originates in our morning newspaper. Walk in to your local TV station any given morning and you’ll see editors and reporters hunched over their local paper deciding which stories to cover that day. This complex relationship between print and electronic news cycles is one companies must appreciate if they are to communicate with the public effectively.

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