This Editor & Publisher story (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003667950) is not a surprise to me, especially when I think of our local newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, where the concept of investigative reporting is none existent and any news concerning matters outside of the area usually involves wire service stories or stories available 1-3 days earlier in larger papers. The Pilot is basically a platform for selling advertisements and sadly not much more. I have often jokingly said that for a decent salary I could do the job of several reporters and actually cover some news and perhaps stir up some changes in corrupt local politics, etc. Here are some story highlights:
NEW YORK The Audit Bureau of Circulations released circulation numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers this morning for the six-month period ending September 2007. Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains. According to an analysis of ABC figures, for 538 daily U.S. newspapers, circulation declined 2.5% to 40,689,617. For 609 papers that filed on Sunday, overall circulation dropped 3.5% to 46,771,486. The percentages are based on comparisons from the same period a year ago and represent the majority of the paper's reporting into ABC -- less than half in the country.
With the rise of the Internet, newspapers in my view need to be more responsive to the desire for investigative stories that state the facts and let the reader decide their conclusion. The papers also need to do a better job at regularly updating the online versions as well, otherwise bloggers cover the stories before the newspapers ever get off their butts.