The Washington Post Reaches Out to Young Readers

Ludtke, Melissa
December 2003
Nieman Reports;Winter2003, Vol. 57 Issue 4, p17
The article presents an interview with Steve Coll, managing editor of "The Washington Post" newspaper about his experiences in trying to interest younger people in his newspaper's work. The first and most important question is media use. And there are generations rising whose patterns of media use and information retrieval are really quite different from generations who have gone before them. It is not just the young adults that the newspaper industry understandably concentrates on, but the generations coming immediately behind them, whose use of instant messaging and search technology is altering in profound ways their relationship with information and media. In comparison to previous revolutions in media technology, the Internet is much friendlier to newspapers than the last couple of media. By contrast, the Internet is infinite in its spatial characteristics. It is much more resembles the supermarket that a newspaper is. It has no constraints on time or space, yet it has many of the properties that make a newspaper attractive as a source of news. Internet and newspapers are more compatible than some other technologies trying to partner and win allegiance of audiences. It is known that the newspaper platform, while eroding in some long-term structural sense, is very supportive of the news gathering resources and culture.


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