Newspapers at the Crossroads
Journalism From Milwaukee to Minneapolis


CJ 429: Print Journalism Senior Capstone | University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire | May 17, 2002 | Vol. 1, No. 1

Family-owned paper fends off buyout
The Leader-Telegram maintains its sovereignty through a commitment to the community it serves.  But for independent newspapers, surviving in an industry that is more corporate and profit oriented hasn't been easy.
Weekly paper illustrates independents' strife

Chains worry about profits and quality
A UWEC class survey found that papers that increasingly chase profits have more unhappy journalists.  But Central Wisconsin Newspapers is still focusing on local news quality, according to one editor.

Projects aim to get public involved
Civic journalism is a relatively recent approach to reporting that goes beyond traditional methods used in the past. Efforts in this area have garnered praise and drawn criticism, but one expert says the movement is growing.

Photographers seek more interaction
Photographer
Dan Powers

As the change from film to digital allows photographers to stay at a scene longer and spend more time in the newsroom, newspapers have been seeking or trying ways to improve communication between reporters and photographers.
Photo departments lacking diversity

High profits attract buyers of weeklies
Corporations are accumulating profitable weeklies and attracting readers with community news. But one chain that bought a weekly lost circulation. The previous family owners regained it and doubled circulation in two months.
Former publisher finds reasons to sell weekly
Sarcastic ad gets sources to talk on the record

2-1 = improved paper, journalists say
Employees of major metros in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee say their newspapers became stronger after merging due to their combined resources. But the mergers resulted in layoffs, fewer viewpoints and lost competition.

More competition means higher quality
Most journalists at large daily metro papers in the Upper Midwest see competition between newspaper conglomerates as pushing each paper to higher quality -- as long as reporters donít rush headlong into mistakes.

vertical rule
Newspapers'
quality rising

Most of the 585 journalists from Wisconsin, the Twin Cities and Duluth who responded to a UWEC class survey say their newspaper has improved since they started there.

Percentage results for all 40 survey questions

Union employees see benefits fall
Employees of union newspapers are losing benefits, women are still making less money than men and circulation is falling despite increases in quality, the journalists say.
Circulation falls despite increase in quality
Men, women, minorities see diversity differently

The 'burbs: going beyond the beat
Reporters are working harder than ever to bring readers the human interest stories they say are wanted, especially in the wake of Journal Communications purchase of several metro-Milwaukee papers.

Dishing more local news, less state
Area newspapers are emphasizing local news more than ever before and also increasing business, sports and arts and entertainment coverage. By contrast, journalists are devoting less time and energy to state news.

Gaining news diversity: What it means
Although hiring diverse employees -- from minorities to women -- is important to many professionals in the news industry, some of the most affected people say there has been a lack of serious effort to do so in the past five years.

Newspapers successful within cluster
Many journalists on chain papers prefer to work for an independent paper, according to a UW-Eau Claire class survey. But some journalists within Gannett's Winnebago cluster say their papers are better since the merger.

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