Papers Dig Deeper for Their News Role; Editors Embrace the Web and Podcasts, but Print Journalism Is Still the No. 1 Source
Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
For better or worse, newspapers are all shook up by the Internet. Even the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) is considering dropping "newspaper" from its title in the name of modernity.
"Do we work for newspaper companies or news companies? If our newsrooms also produce video and podcasts and magazines and free-standing Web publications, does the single word 'newspaper' really define who we are?" ASNE President David Zeeck asked 700 editors gathered in Washington last week for the group's annual meeting.
"I don't have a final answer, but a transition of identity already is under way," said Mr. Zeeck, who is executive editor of the News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash.
A redesigned ASNE logo now bears the motto, "Leading America's newsrooms." There's no mention of "newspaper."
The update could be premature, however. Some studies reveal Americans are not quite ready to surrender their familiar daily paper.
A 700-page news media analysis released March 12 by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that 66 percent of those who followed political news, for example, preferred newspapers. A University of Southern California survey of nearly 1,500 adults released in December found that 69 percent of Americans look to newspapers for information, 13 percent relied on Internet sources and less than 5 percent go to podcasts.
"Consumers still rely heavily on traditional media for the information they need to make purchasing decisions and to consider issues," the survey stated.
The Pew Research Center also found a nation not yet sold on newfangled news. A Pew "news habits" survey of 3,406 adults released in July found 4 percent of the respondents consulted political opinion blogs while 23 percent went online to retrieve news. …