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AN AGGIE LINE: USU cheerleaders perform during the Aggies' final exhibition game. It's time to cheer for basketball. / Photo by Brianna Mortensen

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 10, 2006

Q&A with Ed Bradley:

Q: What single issue should be covered more at CBS News?
A: Foreign news.

Q: Have you ever been assigned a story you objected to? How did you deal with it?
A: When I first started in New York at WCBS radio, the assignment editor automatically assigned any story that had a minority in it to me. I objected to being typecast and told him if I didn't get a variety of stories -- as other reporters did -- then I would take it up with the news director.

Q: If you were not in news, what would you be doing?
A: If I had the talent, I'd play bass guitar and sing in a kicking band.

--Ed Bradley, reporter, "60 Minutes," died yesterday of leukemia at age 65 (2006)

Journalists always needed even when primary news media are changing, former senior executive of Tribune Co. says

By Jason A. Givens

October 10, 2006 | A former vice president of the Tribune Company, the publishing company that owns the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, spoke to a USU journalism class Friday.

Joseph "Andy" Hays spoke about the future of newspapers and offered some advice for aspiring journalists. Hays is a USU alumnus and a member of the advisory board for USU's journalism department.

ADJUSTING ONLINE: Hays explains how the Internet is changing the way news is consumed by the public

Hays said when radio came along everybody was predicting that it would be the end of newspapers. Then TV came along and everybody said that would for sure be the end. He said the real demise for newspapers happened in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer.

He said newspapers get about 80 percent of their income from advertising and the other 20 percent from circulation. Newspaper circulation is down nationwide. Hays said circulation at the Los Angeles Times declines by 10 percent every month, and advertising, newspapers most profitable part, is going to Internet sites like Google and Yahoo.

"Mass media is the heart and soul of commerce," Hays said. Advertisements need to be where there are "eyeballs and ears." However, he said "eyeballs and ears" can be in so many places that newspapers no longer dominate.

"There's no better source in the world for news and information than The New York Times," Hays said. However, it is an expensive process with a declining circulation, and he is uncertain how long they can continue to do it.

All the changes are being caused by the way that media is being transmitted, he said, the Internet being the most revolutionary.

"A lot of young people are not getting news from newspapers," Hays said. "The electron has eliminated the middle man."

He said newspapers have had to maintain high profit margins of around 70-75 percent, but thinks a lot of them will go private, allowing them to not be pressured by such high margins.

With circulation's and advertising declining at newspapers around the country, a career in print journalism may seem like a bleak prospect.

However, Hays said, "There can never be a replacement for people who can consolidate news and information into readable form."

He said there will always be a source of news around and a need for journalists, but he is unsure what type of medium will be used.

Hays advised journalism students to take more creative writing courses and scientific writing. "You have to know how to write effectively and universally," he said.

Hays said in his opinion, the ability of students to write is not being challenged enough.

"You must be able to write," he said. "Don't be lazy about it; get into the tough classes."


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