Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 30, 2021

If a newspaper doesn’t report on a story, you can assume that some other media outlet — radio, TV, the Web — will pick it up instead.

Or not. Eric Deggans pinpoints the critical role of newspapers and their resources in the newsgathering and reporting process:

[T]he information gatherers in a major metropolitan daily fuel the news process for nearly every other strain of news media - from online to TV and radio.

Every newspaper fields dozens of staffers who reach into the community and dig up original, often unknown information. TV and radio stations, already working with slimmed-down staffs, use print reports as important signposts; many bloggers and news Web sites, which never had large reporting staffs, often link to or build on reports developed by major newspapers.

That’s how it rolls: You can consider the media dissemination of information as a river, with the originating source being the papers’ newsrooms. Without dedicated resources (i.e., paid reporters putting in work-hours at digging up stories), the river dries up.

That’s not to say that other outlets do zero reporting. There are magazines with their own coverage areas, and broadcast stations get tips called in. But on a daily basis, those other outlets don’t do their own work, because they know they can access newspaper reports and either build off them, or simply regurgitate.

Naturally, newspapers don’t create the news: Events happen regardless of specific media coverage. But there’s a ton of stories out there that require investigative pursuit to uncover, clarify, etc., and you can’t do that by passively sitting back and waiting for the story to come around to you. That’s where papers show off their function.

This alone doesn’t rescue newspapers’ struggling business model, which is the thrust of Deggans’ column today. Controlling the source is one thing; putting it into a package that’s enticing to news consumers is the critical part.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/30/2005 06:14:53 PM
Category: Media | Permalink |

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  1. It makes me nervous to see the staff cuts at all these newspapers. It means much news is being left uncovered. Not a good thing at all.

    Comment by tommy — 10/31/2005 @ 10:51:03 AM

  2. CHICAGO’S NEWS HEADWATERS DRY UP

    The shuttering of Chicago’s legendary City News Service by Tribuine Company has prompted plenty of reminiscences over the loss of a hardboiled finishing school for Midwestern reporters:
    The job was certainly not for the meek. City News was the …

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 12/12/2021 @ 07:44:39 PM

  3. MORE NOISE, LESS SOUND

    Today’s sale of Knight-Ridder to McClatchy will involve the sale and/or shuttering of 12 of KR’s newspapers. And remember: A deal with McClatchy was the best-case scenario, because the alternative would have been acquisition by private equ…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 03/13/2006 @ 11:25:31 AM

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