Tag Archives: washington

Journalism and a Trump White House: What are the PR Takeaways?

Saturday Night Live Sean Spicer Press Conference SkitNo matter what side of the aisle your political beliefs fall, it’s hard not to watch the very public antagonistic relationship President Trump and his administration are having with the media.

While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?

I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”

Read more after the jump…

The 5 most widely circulated newspapers in America

Blame it on new math, but hold off on writing the obituary for newspapers for now.

The latest, newly revised audit of newspaper circulation numbers show the steady decline over the past five years may be stabilizing a bit. It’s still bad news, with the numbers still dropping, but they are not falling nearly as fast.

The Wall Street Journal remains the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S., according to the latest figures released this week from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Its daily circulation topped out at 2.1 million.

Rounding out the top five were USA Today, with 1,829,099; The New York Times, with 916,911; The Los Angeles Times, with 605,243; and The San Jose Mercury News, with 577,665. The Washington Post dropped out of the top five to No. 6.

The newspapers benefitted from a substantial change in the way the audit bureau counts circulation. These looser guidelines allow newspapers to count paid and “verified” copies of the newspaper. The latter category includes third-party copies and those given to schools and newspaper employees.

Previously, copies had to actually be purchased to be counted.

Also, the new guidelines allow newspapers to lump separate editions under different titles into the total. For instance, the Chicago Sun-Times can now count its suburban newspapers, even if many of them are laden with advertisements.

Online readers are counted in circulation totals if they pay a fee. That fact is not lost on newspapers, many of which are toying with charging for content.

Newspaper analyst John Morton told The Los Angeles Times that the new guidelines are a “way of trying to make the industry look better.”

Newspapers use the audited circulation numbers to set advertising rates. The audit bureau report included data for the six months ending March 31.

The new report also makes it difficult to compare the report, done twice a year, to past reports since the comparison is different. So, newspapers no longer have to compare this report with past ones, essentially starting over from zero.

This week, publishers across the country ran stories this week touting circulation increases, or limited declines.

Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy W. Hartenstein capitalized on the boost, saying the numbers for this Sunday paper were the best in eight years, and marked the smallest decline in six years.

Perhaps more telling than circulation numbers, however, is the continued news of layoffs at newspapers. This week McClatchy Co. announced layoffs at the News & Observer and the Miami Herald.

This post also appears on PRDaily.com.

~ Gil Rudawsky

PR Pros: Don’t even try to pitch a story this week

Get ready for a week of nonstop coverage of Osama Bin Laden’s death.

Reporters will be digging deep into their source books for people they interviewed in the days and weeks following 9/11. We will have terrorist survivors, former military intelligence officials, first-responders, and college professors. They will be asked these questions: How does it make you feel, and what does it mean?

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a truly breaking news story, perfectly revealed during prime time. And this one was a doozy.

When television stations broke from coverage Sunday night almost simultaneously to each take credit for confirming Osama Bin Laden had been killed, the nation stopped and listened.

And we will keep listening.

In newsrooms nationwide, they will focus singularly on the story. Features, business and sports reporters will become news reporters. Only extraordinary news will rise to the front pages or the first half-hour of news reports.

Don’t even try to pitch a story this week, and you’d better inform your clients that any news they may have in the coming days will not get any coverage.

Traditional media bloggers are already speculating that the Bin Laden news will save newspapers. “It is an excellent opportunity for the medium,” notes a media blogger from Australia.

Case in point, The Washington Post printed an extra 35,000 copies of Monday’s edition.

On Newseum’s webpage featuring front pages of newspapers around the country, it was clear that today is a day to keep your newspaper, if you still get one. Paul Sparrow, senior vice president at the Newseum, told the Associated Press the site was processing more than 2,800 transactions per second when it crashed.

This blog item also appears on Ragan’s PRDaily.com

~ Gil Rudawsky