30: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper

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The era of the big-city newspaper as a dependable beacon for the American people is over. Charles Madigan's -30- is the story of the decline of an important institution, the American newspaper, told in a collection of incisive pieces by practitioners of the art and craft of journalism. At heart it's an insider's story, but with serious and vast consequences in the world beyond the newsroom. -30- considers the impact of technology, management policy, and social values on the operations of the press and its changing marketplace.

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Editorial Reviews

Communication Booknotes Quarterly
Theirs is the story of the decline of the big-city American newspaper, seen through the lens of incisive pieces, making this, admittedly, an insider's story, but with serious and vast consequences in the world beyond the newsroom.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Tom Ferrick
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the fate of the print media. Madigan has done a masterful job of explaining the stark situation newspapers find themselves in, how they got there, and ways out of their dilemma.
Joseph L. Galloway
There was a golden age of newspapers, and Charles Madigan got a taste of that before living through the fall to where we are today, worrying about extinction. It's important to know how the business was ruined and why, and this collection of essential, revealing essays shines a bright light into some dark corners.
Eric Alterman
A useful and eclectic collection about what looks to be a national tragedy. Let's hope it inspires some creative solutions.
Booklist - Kevin Nance
Wistful and rather dolorous new collection of essays...Madigan and his contributors grapple gamely with the problem.
Foreword Reviews - George Cohen
30 is critical in understanding the decline of America's major newspapers.
The Seattle Times - John B. Saul
Move this one to the top of your reading list.
CHOICE - R. A. Logan
Timely and well written.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Tom Ferrick Jr.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the fate of the print media. Madigan has done a masterful job of explaining the stark situation newspapers find themselves in, how they got there, and ways out of their dilemma.
ForeWord Magazine
30- is critical in understanding the decline and fall of America's major newspapers.
Publishers Weekly

If you have ever loved a newspaper, this book will provide a gut-churning mix of joy and nostalgia, amazement and disgust, and no small sense of fatalism. Award-winning Chicago Tribuneeditor and reporter Madigan collects a powerful array of commentary from journalists and observers, who enumerate the varied forces driving the decline of newspaper readership: the Internet, the consolidation of department stores (and their advertising), metro sprawl, decades of job cutting and the demise of family ownership; the idea that chain papers have "slowly carved out the soul of local papers" is repeated throughout. Highlights include a look at the changing face of the New York Timesand painful stories of once great papers like the Philadelphia Enquirerand the LA Timesgutted by suits who see themselves "in conflict with sanctimonious and unrealistic idealists." The editor of Idaho Falls's Post Registercontributes a singular but too brief ray of hope in his consideration of small-town dailies (around 1,420 of them) where, under the ownership of smaller companies, honest journalism thrives and profit margins can run in excess of 20 percent. The most daunting questions come from David T.Z. Mindich's examination of the uninformed citizenry: "making sure young people see themselves as citizens should be the priority of every news executive in the country." Though it may be too late to reverse the trends examined here, this anthology will inspire a healthy measure of resistance. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566637428
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Madigan, senior editor and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, teaches at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Way It Was. The Way It Is     3
Money, Technology, Tax Law, and Trouble   Elizabeth M. Neiva     11
What Happened to the Readers?   David Carr     19
Everybody Watches the New York Times   Rachel Smolkin     23
Trapped in Transition   Joseph Epstein     45
Fighting the Vortex   Rick Edmonds     58
The Wrong Way to Make Money   Philip Meyer     72
Tribune Company: Synergy's Broken Promise   Rachel Smolkin     86
Money! Money! Money! The Profits-versus-Quality War   Neil Hickey     106
Embracing Extinction: The 1970s and Newspaper Decline   Jack Shafer     128
Glory Days: The Billionaire Solution   Michael Wolff     133
Heartbreak on Wheels: The Philadelphia Inquirer   Michael Shapiro     144
Still a Powerful Voice   John Nichols     175
Can the Los Angeles Times Survive Its Owners?   Ken Auletta     190
Hidden Goldfields: Small-town Papers   Roger Plothow     210
How to Tune Back In   David T. Z. Mindich     213
Credits     233
Index     235
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