Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The State of Local Journalism

John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" had a good segment on the sorry state of newspaper journalism Sunday night. Newspapers are slashing staffs and discounting investigative journalism and simple monitoring of government in favor of clickbait ("You'll Never Believe What Happened Next!") and incomprehensible marketing buzzwords.

The cost-cutting affects every aspect of the business from writing to production.

On the same day, someone traveling around Wisconsin might have noticed an eerie similarity on several different newspapers' front pages, as shown in this screen shot from newseum.org. Not only did the Fond du Lac Reporter, Green Bay Press Gazette, Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Oshkosh Northwestern, Sheboygan Press and Wausau Daily Herald run the same feature story on page one with the same graphic and layout, they also all used the same photo of Brett Favre in the same spot on top of the page to tease the story of his induction into the Football Hall of Fame.

The colored circles might put you in mind of what national newspaper owns these six.

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