Who says the mainstream media isn’t afraid of declining circulations?
Gannett Co., the nation’s largest newspaper chain, is radically changing the way its papers gather and present news by incorporating elements of reader-created “citizen journalism,” mining online community discussions for stories and creating Internet databases of calendar listings and other non-news utilities.
The McLean company has 90 newspapers, including USA Today, the nation’s largest. Like all major newspaper firms, Gannett has watched circulation and advertising revenue slide over the past decade, as readers turn to television and the Internet for news and information.
Gannett is attempting to grab some of the Internet mojo of blogs, community e-mail groups and other ground-up news sources to bring back readers and fundamentally change the idea of what newspapers have been for more than a century. The attempt to involve readers in news-gathering is part of a larger plan that also calls for Gannett to merge its newspaper and online operations into single units to speed delivery of news and improve its offerings to advertisers.