A1. Newspapers

  Summary of contents in textbook

Part A1 deals with various aspects of American newspapers, including some basic information and famous newspapers. It also touches on an important and controversial topic——freedom of the press, and how it has influenced American politics. What’s more, this part gives us some ideas on two issues affecting newspapers: the relationship between journalism and entertainment and the influence of advertisers over newspaper.

 

Basic information:

Newspaper: a set of large printed sheets of paper containing news, articles, advertisements,etc. and published every day or every week.

 

Development of American Newspaper:

  • Begins in the early 18th century with the publication of the first colonial newspapers.
  • During the early 20th Century, the average American read several newspapers per-day.
  • Starting in the 1920s, the nature of American journalism as radio and later, television
  • In the late 20th century, much of American journalism became housed in big media chains.
  • 21st Century, digital journalism. All newspapers faced a business crisis as readers turned to the internet for sources and advertisers followed them.

 

However, with the rapid development of the internet and the television, newspaper industry declines gradually.

  • The number of newspapers per hundred million population fell

– From 1,200 (in 1945) to 400 in 2014.

  • Circulation per capita declined

– From 35% (in the mid-1940s) to under 15%.

  • The number of newspaper journalists has decreased

– From 43,000 in 1978 to 33,000 in 2015.

 

America has never had a national press like The Times in Britain. But it does have a lot of global influential press. Here are the top 5 newspaper in the US (2016, by Daily Circulation):

  1. USA Today (2,301,917)
  2. The New York Times (2,101,611)
  3. The Wall Street Journal (1,337,376)
  4. Los Angeles Times (467,309)
  5. New York Post (424,721)

 

Freedom of the Press:

Freedom of the press in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment is generally understood to prevent the government from interfering with the distribution of information and opinions. Nevertheless, freedom of the press is subject to certain restrictions, such as defamation law.

 

First Amendment:

Prohibits the government from abridging freedom of speech, the press, assembly, petition and from establishing an official religion

e.g. The Washington Post

1972-1974, the scandal of President Nixon

 

  Pictures

Top 5 Newspapers, by Daily Circulation (2013)

Top 5 Newspapers, by Daily Circulation (2013)

 

USA Today

USA Today

 

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

 

The New York Times

The New York Times

 

The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times

 

The New York Post

The New York Post

 

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

 

The Watergate Scandal

The Watergate Scandal

 

Nixon leaving the White House

Nixon leaving the White House

  Supplementary readings

Near v. Minnesota

Near v. Minnesota, was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom of the press by roundly rejecting prior restraints on publication, a principle that was applied to free speech generally in subsequent jurisprudence. The Court ruled that a Minnesota law that targeted publishers of “malicious” or “scandalous” newspapers violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment). Legal scholar and columnist Anthony Lewis called Near the Court’s “first great press case”.

 

It was later a key precedent in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), in which the Court ruled against the Nixon administration’s attempt to enjoin publication of the Pentagon Papers.

 

To know more about Near v. Minnesota, please refer to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_v._Minnesotaase

  Useful websites

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

https://www.usatoday.com/

https://www.wsj.com/

https://www.nytimes.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_newspapers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_American_newspapers