Analysis: Our Commentaries and Backgrounders
This section, Commentaries and Backgrounders, contains our more concise research analyses, such as op eds, articles, speeches, and quick reports. These are distinguished from our more detailed empirical research studies. They are listed below in chronological order. Or you can use the menus on the left to filter our entire archive and find exactly what you want.
|October 6, 2006|
A new book surveying more than 1,000 journalists finds their politics have drifted a bit to the right since the 1990s, but they still remain more liberal than the general US population. With a majority of the public accusing news outlets of political bias, these numbers aren’t likely to silence that noisy debate.
|October 5, 2006|
A newly released book based on four decades of surveys of US journalists finds a profession that is steadily growing grayer, but lagging behind when it comes to integrating women and minorities into the newsroom. This demographic stagnation may well be a reflection of a mainstream media beset by a series of economic woes.
|October 2, 2006|
|Many of those in the blogosphere see themselves as watchdogs arrayed against an insular political establishment dominated by consultants, interests groups, and the mainstream media. But with bloggers taking an increasingly active role in some of the key 2006 political races, are they sacrificing that independence to become part of the system they decry?|
|September 29, 2006|
|Earlier this year, a research team led by a Harvard professor unveiled a strategy to help reverse the revenue and circulation ills of the newspaper industry and encourage it to reinvent itself. Some publications have reported early success in adopting the plan that asks readers: “What do you hire a newspaper to do for you?”|
|September 27, 2006|
Despite all the problems plaguing the newspaper industry, a new survey reveals that 2005 was the best year since 1999 for college grads with a print journalism degree to land jobs in their field. Thanks to the economic health of local papers and the old media’s transition to cyberspace, a degree in journalism is still a pretty good ticket to a first paycheck.
|September 25, 2006|
In what could become a high-stakes legal battle, a world renowned professor claims he was defamed in an Aug. 28 New Yorker story about the skirmish over assigning credit for a major mathematics breakthrough. While the magazine stands by its story, the professor is threatening litigation if he doesn’t get an apology and retraction.
|September 21, 2006|
The long-stable world of evening network news looks a bit jostled just three week's into Katie Couric's tenure in the CBS Evening News anchor chair. She may not be in first place anymore but compared to other anchor debuts, Couric has at least temporarily disrupted the long-consistent one, two, three finish among NBC, ABC, and CBS. Is it a long-term change or just a ripple?
|September 20, 2006|
|Faced with declining circulation and softening ad pages the big newsweeklies are shaking things up. Both Time and Newsweek recently appointed new editors, and the former is changing its publication day and possibly pruning circulation. Are they in the midst of a mere tweaking, or is it the beginning of a major reinvention?|
|September 18, 2006|
|In the media business, there’s a raging debate about the accuracy of the numbers that purport to track visitors to the major news web sites. But some analysts say that when it comes to the economics of the Internet, the traditional reliance on audience size may just not be that important to advertisers.|
|September 14, 2006|
America’s alternative weeklies may have once conjured up coverage of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. But as the papers themselves reach middle age, survey numbers show their readers have aged with them—getting married and having kids—which poses a serious challenge: younger upstart publications could steal their readers and advertisers.