Most analysts believe that the print newspaper is in trouble. Facing competition from the internet, traditional print papers are struggling with falling circulation and declining ad revenue. But as we emphasize here, the American newspaper has been a work in progress from the beginning—innovation and adaptation to new technologies and reader interests is part of the history of journalism. Therefore, as you work your way through these materials, you may want to draw upon this tradition of innovation to help your students predict the next phase in journalism history. What will be next? As the dust settles over the next few years, what will "the newspaper" look like?
As part of this consideration of the newspaper's future, you might also want to spend some time considering what constitutes "good" journalism? Our yellow press exercise will encourage your students to think about the appropriate stance of newspapers. And our review of Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier will encourage your students to think about the ways in which young journalists are best trained. Do young journalism students learn more about journalism by being guaranteed the same rights held by professional journalists, or by having their work evaluated and censored by their teachers?