The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World

The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World : The Transformation of an American Newspaper

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In 2012-2013, one of the largest U.S. newspaper chains, Advance Publications, determined its main product was no longer newspapers but news, and switched from daily print publication of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to three days a week, while upgrading its presence online ("Digital First"). More than two hundred employees, including half the newsroom, were laid off in one of the poorest U.S. cities with among the lowest literacy rates and percentages of households with Internet access. The decision raised a furor in New Orleans. Beginning with an historical overview of The Times-Picayune, from its 1837 founding through the present, The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World: The Transformation of an American Newspaper describes the crucial role the dailies played in the 1960 school desegregation crisis, as well as the impact of the switch on print coverage of hard news in the context of media developments, and provides a detailed analysis of specific print editions of The Times-Picayune and its digital formats conducted before and after the switch.
This study of the evolution of The Times-Picayune is instructive for all concerned with what the transformation might portend for the news profession and for the traditional role of the press in the digital age.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 154 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 20mm | 379.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 11 Graphs; 1 Tables, unspecified; 1 Halftones, black and white
  • 0739182447
  • 9780739182444

Review quote

The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World begins with a wonderful cover-a color photo of a bearded man reading a paper while next to him a young child is looking at her iPod screen. The book appears in only four chapters-a quick history of the traditional printed paper, its role in the 1960-61 school desegregation crisis in its home town of New Orleans, its first year of digital publication, and a content analysis of news before and after the decision was made to go to digital publication instead of paper (the latter appeared only three days a week as of 2012) ... [This] study sheds light on the universal question at newspapers these days-what works? Communication Booknotes Quarterly Assembled by a commendable team of four media scholars, [The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World:] The Transformation of an American a worthwhile read...Instead of attempting to fully analyze the newspaper's transformation before completion, the authors offer generous helpings of the paper's rich history and colorful descriptions of the unique public outcry that greeted The Picayune's otherwise banal restructuring plans. The book's highly technical 'content analysis' of news coverage-before and after the 'digital decision of 2012'...completes the book. America: The National Catholic Review S.L. Alexander, Frank D. Durham, Alfred Lawrence Lorenz, and Vicki Mayer have written a breakthrough examination of the complex forces transforming newspapers in the twenty-first century. This rigorously researched book places the oft-cited economic collapse of many local newspapers into an insightful context of the simultaneous shifts occurring in news production, consumption, and distribution. Told through the story of the changes reshaping The Times-Picayune, this new book should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of journalism. -- John V. Pavlik, Rutgers University This book traces the entire sweep of modern American journalism in the form of one of its grand newspapers, The Times-Picayune. It covers the days of the party press to the rise of professional journalism, the civil rights to the digital era. Along the way, the authors account for what we gained and what we lost when journalism emerged, and what we are losing today with its steady demise. -- David Ryfe, University of Iowa The story of The Times-Picayune encapsulates 175 years of American newspapering, from the penny press to the Internet age. This book shows the central civic role of a paper that has survived war and occupation, plague and flood, but is now threatened by digital revolution. -- Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review
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About S.L. Alexander

S.L. Alexander is associate professor of mass communication at Loyola University New Orleans. Frank D. Durham is associate professor of journalism and mass communication at University of Iowa. Alfred Lawrence Lorenz is A. Louis Read distinguished professor emeritus of mass communication at Loyola University New Orleans. Vicki Mayer is professor of communication at Tulane University.
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Table of contents

Introduction, C.W. Anderson Chapter 1: The Times-Picayune: A Historical View, Alfred Lawrence Lorenz Chapter 2: "Inescapable Reality:" Pragmatism and the Press in the New Orleans School Desegregation Crisis of 1960-1961, Frank D. Durham Chapter 3: The (Some) Times-Picayune: "Digital First" October 2012-October 2013, S.L. Alexander Chapter 4: More but Softer: A Content Analysis of News Before and After the Digital Decision at The Times-Picayune 2012, Vicki Mayer
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