Mapping the Newspaper Industry in Transition

This report provides a vivid glimpse inside the workplaces that produce what – not long ago – we would have called newspapers.  As digital news-gathering and production methods proliferate, and as digital avenues for distribution emerge, these workplaces are being transformed in profound ways, with electronic facsimiles and websites (and probably more) overtaking the paper format.

The report is an outgrowth of the Preserving Digital News meeting held at the Library in September 2009, and it features illustrative examples from four American newspapers: The Arizona Republic, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (since 2008,, Wisconsin State Journal, and The Chicago Tribune. There is additional information pertaining to the work of The New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and the Associated Press.  Altogether, the report makes it clear that the transition to the digital environment is not a neat, throw-the-switch change.

The CRL team of researchers, writers and illustrators included Jessica Alverson, Kalev Leetaru, Victoria McCargar, Kayla Ondracek, Bernard Reilly, James Simon and Eileen Wagner. Their narrative takes us through three major stages in the newspaper workflow: sourcing (gathering news information), editing and production and distribution.  Each newspaper applies somewhat different practices in each stage, ranging from the formatting of the content, the types of metadata employed, and the methods applied to manage the content in the information technology systems that support the workflow.

Read the Full Report.