Bass, Abraham Z.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Journalism
With many significant technological advancements in Journalism, the local, or mid-sized, newspapers have been put into positions of facing a different type of competing media from both the local and non-local areas. This study takes a look at some of the changes among these papers after an eight-year span, 1976 and 1984. Six newspapers from Illinois were selected for a content analysis, each falling into the circulation range of 30,000 to 70,000. Five issues of each newspaper from July 1976 and from July 1984 were analyzed. Stories from the news, editorial and sports departments were analyzed by measuring column inches. Stories and photos were measured to determine if they were done by a staff member (local) or by a wire service worker (non-local). A total of 60 newspapers representing 59,394 column inches was examined. The study found four major changes: 1) The editorial opinion pages have dramatically increased the use of wire copy. 2) The wire material used in the news sections of the newspapers went up slightly, but it was enough of a change for wire material to take a majority hold. 3) The front pages saw a major decrease in wire stories and an increase in local material, which included three newspapers changing entire philosophies of not using any local material on the front pages. 4) There was an increase of wire service bylined material. The study also contains a discussion on reasons why some of these changes have taken place. During the period of 1976 and 1984, there were some new factors and competitive advancements which midsized newspapers did not have to contend with in the past. The rapid advancements of Cable television, a successfully national newspaper, economics, social ideological trends and new target market groups have all contributed to some of the changes. They are each discussed in the final chapter of the study.
Vorva, Jeffrey, "Changes in focus of local news : a look at six newspapers" (1986). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 1717.
vi, 138 pages
Northern Illinois University
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