You don’t read good news about the news industry every day. But the April/May edition of the American Journalism Review featured an article about the American media that was full of optimism. The piece was by Paul Steinle and Sara Brown, who have just published a full-length report about the American newspaper business based on visits to 50 papers across all 50 US states.
Summarising this research, Steinle and Brown suggested that, “the newspaper business' core financial challenges have not yet been solved, but many initiatives are producing new, digitally enabled products to support news operations.
“Despite the challenges, there is optimism the new revenue centers will grow, and confidence newsprint-generated revenue will be sufficient to finance professional news operations during this transition.”
The article acknowledges that there are plenty of challenges facing the news industry: "No single 'silver bullet' revenue source has been discovered," “The 2008-2011 economic downturn still hurts,” “Selecting new digital tools is daunting,” and “Digital news delivery requires newsroom reorganization,” are just a few of the points it picks up. Yet it focuses on the positives of the news industry too, and asserts that, “newspapers have unique compelling attributes” that will continue to attract readers.