Tomorrow’s newspaper in New York is a very different beast! With the increasing availability of instant news and information 24/7, the ‘news’ part of newspapers is rapidly morphing. If I want to know who did what when or what today’s big issue is, whether that be globally, nationally or locally, I have a seemingly unlimited choice of instant news services from which to choose. Even my old mobile phone grants me immediate internet access, meaning keeping up with the Jones’s has never been easier.
So why do we still have newspapers in New York ? Everyone knows that circulation is plummeting, but a few of us die-hards believe there will always be print. Why? Because it is comfortable. The Y-Gens are still buying their magazines and books because they also enjoy that relaxing slump on the couch with a drink, snacks and an engaging read. The operative word here of course is engaging!
Tomorrow's newspaper is a very different beast! With the increasing availability of instant news and information 24/7, the 'news' part of newspapers is rapidly morphing. If I want to know who did what when or what today's big issue is, whether that be globally, nationally or locally, I have a seemingly unlimited choice of instant news services from which to choose. Even my old mobile phone grants me immediate internet access, meaning keeping up with the Jones's has never been easier.
So why do we still have newspapers? Everyone knows that circulation is plummeting, but a few of us die-hards believe there will always be print. Why? Because it is comfortable. The Y-Gens are still buying their magazines and books because they also enjoy that relaxing slump on the couch with a drink, snacks and an engaging read. The operative word here of course is engaging!
Newspaper magnates are scrambling madly like a flock of geese in hunting season, desperately seeking new ideas from pricy consultants to engage their disparate audiences as subscription and print-ad revenues nose dive. The really big end of town is buckling under its own ancient weight, stunned in the headlights of a much faster moving information superhighway. The choice is change or die.
But change for these guys is tough. They are often fourth or fifth generation family moguls who know little else beyond the print world. "Ok, we've built our website...now what?" The smart players are restructuring their offices in information-centric floor plans where a byte of news travels simultaneously to each media team where it is chopped, shaved, spiced and uploaded to the net, print production, radio, TV, mobile etc. The not-so-smart are sacking staff and closing shop, or even worse shaking their heads, holding their nose, closing their eyes and hoping the naughty internet thingy will just go away.
So the stage is set for a media revolution, where only the smart and nimble will triumph. Such a scenario has opened the door for the smaller players, who were previously excluded from the game owing to costly entrance fees and ruthless incumbents. Now however, powerful publishing software is extremely affordable, putting everything up for grabs. The little guys are redefining an archaic industry.
Over the past five years thousands of localised 'news' websites have sprouted around the world. Some with significant venture capital funding, some dabbling off-shoots of the big companies, others simply built by community minded individuals. The spin on these sites tends to be user-generated content, or 'citizen journalism', whereby locals tell their own stories, report on events that might otherwise be overlooked by mainstream media, or simply weigh in with an opinion or rebuff.
In 2004 'The Word' newspaper was launched in Canberra, Australia. At the time this was the first tabloid in the world to be written entirely by its readers, circulating 35000 gloss covered copies monthly to 900 sites across Australia's capital city. The beauty about this model was not only that content was free, but that it evoked immediate loyalty. Anyone who got an article published in print, or knew someone else who got published, inevitably showed friends.
But could we really call this a newspaper? Was it more like a magazine? A newszine? A yarnpaper? A plog (printed blog)? Whatever it was, it carried $30,000 of advertising in every issue and another $1000 p/m of online ads! It engaged its readers. As the adage proclaims, get your content and distribution right and the advertisers will follow.
So we come back to content, the 'news' in newspapers. With the eruption of online commerce we are witnessing a turning point for content. Earning money online is all about 'eyeballs' - getting traffic to your site. Unfortunately the very same freedoms we cherish about the internet also drown us in spam and crap content. Waving a flag above the dumping grounds of useless and tedious content is becoming quite an art, a trade to which professional and novice authors are gravitating in droves.
Content will soon be entirely free! Already the industry is filling with content conduits, like Ezine Articles, Squidoo, Wordpress, Twitter and plenty more. Authors upload their articles, as I will do with this article, to these newly forming content kings. These kings then push the content to relevant members who have flagged certain interests in membership profiles. These members then publish that content into their own websites or publications.
But where is the money in all this? Well the conduits charge for premium privileges for both authors and publishers and the authors charge for...hmmm...that's right, nothing! And that is why this is so beautiful - there really is something in it for the author - reputation. Prolific and intelligent authors can now get their message out there faster than ever and gain hundreds of thousands of readers overnight, which translates to hundreds of thousands of eyeballs back at the author's website wanting more. Another name for this phenomenon is 'content marketing', whereby the author creates positive, informed conversations around products or services.
Pulling together these clues, tomorrow's newspaper is looking more like a hybrid of blogs, magazines, newspapers, forums and books. It is a disposable, stylish freebie, with likely a gloss cover and smaller than a tabloid so that it can be folded into the back pocket. It survives entirely on advertising and addresses in one sweep a bunch of interest sets that are beyond news. The stories are the neighborly conversations over the back fence. Opinions are rife from front cover to the last page. Articles inform the evermore discerning readers of the pros and cons of a wide range of products and services, toward generating trust first, not the sale. If you want the latest news, open your iPhone. If you want a bunch of stories, pictures and meanderings, pick up your local musepaper!
It's hard to imagine a time before television news and radio news, not to mention news on the Internet, but during the Civil War, citizens had to rely on two major sources of news - word of mouth and newspapers.
Although word of mouth was the most expedient source of news about the war, newspapers provided citizens and soldiers alike with the most detailed accounts of war that that had ever been published in America or in any other country for that matter. New printing technologies allowed newspapers and magazines alike to publish another new technology - photographs. The advent of the telegraph made news from the front lines of the war available to the press room in minutes rather than days or weeks. Newspapers provided a tangible account of a war that developed by the day.
By the time the Civil War began in 1860, newspapers had expanded from the large cities in the northeast to almost all major cities throughout the United States, and even into some smaller towns, where an enterprising publisher could set up a press.
However, at the outset of the war, most newspapers were still yet unequipped to cover the war. Not only was the Civil War one of the most geographically large wars fought to the time, but the sheer numbers of those involved made the task mind-boggling. Although most of the larger papers, such as The New York Herald, The New York Times and Harper's Weekly had Washington correspondents, few had ever employed correspondents for the wide expanse of country the war encompassed. Thus a new position in the American newspaper office was born - the war correspondent.
War correspondents were sent out to the front lines, along with special artists, who until photographs became widely used toward the end of the war, sketched the action. These brave writers and artists experienced the same harsh conditions of life in a military camp as the soldiers did.
The ability of newspapers to get information from the front lines was often troubling for officers and others in positions of authority during the war. At various times, newspapers were censored for fear that the news they reported would be used by the enemy to advance their cause. This was more a problem in the North than in the South for obvious reasons - the South had had fewer major newspapers before the war, and blockades had resulted in such a shortage of paper, ink, and other supplies necessary that many papers shut down, never to reopen. But in the North, the threat of the press was taken in hand; Lincoln himself feared the repercussions of newspapers that were either opposed to the war or sympathetic to the Confederate cause, and suppressed many of these papers.
But Lincoln's courting of editors that supported his cause sometimes came back to haunt him, as is the case of his supporter Horace Greeley, of the New York Tribune, whom, in an effort to stir up support for the Union, undoubtedly contributed to the battles at Bull Run, which were both notorious losses for the Federal Army.
By far the most popular newspaper during the Civil War era was Harper's Weekly. Harper's was one of the more even-handed newspapers, due mostly to its popularity in the South. Although the paper supported Lincoln and the Union, it still reported with disinterest, and remained a mainstay of the Southern household during the war.
Aside from its impartiality, Harper's circulation of more than 200,000 during the Civil War era is attributable to the fact that the paper employed some of the most distinguished writers and artists of the time. Political cartoonist Thomas Nast was a mainstay of Harper's, as was artist Winslow Homer. Other notable artists who contributed to Harper's during the Civil War era include Theodore R. Davis, Henry Mosler, and the brothers Alfred Waud and William Waud.
Newspapers were the most reliable source of news during Civil War America. While newspapers served the citizens of the time well, they are also an invaluable resource for historians who study the war, providing insight not only into the actions of the war, but into the popular opinion of the war, as well.
- New York american daily news
- Buffalo american daily news
- Rochester american daily news
- Albany american daily news
- Yonkers american daily news
- Syracuse american daily news