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Tom said in July 27th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Wow. But I guess this isn’t that surprising. I keep hearing about other printed news publications having hard times.

I think this is just a signpost on the road marking the end of many printed publications. With the advent of the net, bringing you instant news, and handheld devices like the ipad, I can’t see a bright future for them. But then I so see a bright future for ipad like devices. OH! did you see that the US Copyright office said that users can legally alter their ipad and iphone devices (AKA Jailbreaking) without breaking any laws? So you can jailbreak your iphone to run apps that apple has banned (like google voice) or even sign up with some other carrier!

I think Apple has become the new Microsoft in terms of being an electronic dictator surpressing our freedoms.
:D

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Jermaine said in July 27th, 2010 at 9:16 pm

The journalist training in me is screaming inside that content is being covered by advertising. But the truth is in dire times extreme methods need to be taken. I just think that the million-plus USA Today received from Jeep may have saved jobs and kept the newspaper in publication – or put off the inevitable. One or the other. Normally I would cringe at the thought of advertising taking precedence over news content but when that news content is written by journalists (who are underpaid already) who need jobs, who have bills, and who need the money, I can’t really argue with that.

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Ralph Braseth said in July 27th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

There is no journalism without money. If front page advertising pays reporters, it’s a slam dunk. In the age of newspaper desperation there is no such thing as sacred space.

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Rima said in July 27th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I’m inclined to agree. Even if it “feels” wrong to us trained journalists, it’s just an ad. As Ralph says, there is no sacred space.

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Miranda L. said in July 27th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I think it shouldn’t become a permanent thing. Maybe for a while but I still feel like a paper isn’t a paper without a front page headline. That being said, I feel the quality of what articles make front page has declined and is further cheapened by overwhelming ad space.

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smycynek said in July 27th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I can say this. Many people might not have strong feelings about USA Today, Jeep, or the formal or academic definition of “journalistic integrity.”

Also, many of us are capitalists who might not even oppose a free-market move like this.

However, I guess what worries me is that this is just one of many symptoms of people doing things they might not normally do in a better economy. In the past week, I noticed that the health food / smoothie store in my neighborhood was replaced with a “Cash for Gold” shop.

I *like* my health food smoothies, but the instant economic gratification of “cash for gold” trumps it according to the masses.

So, overall, I guess I’d have to say that USA Today has every right to do this, but I’m disappointed that they’re in a position, like many of us are, where this is tempting, and there may be more temptations down the road that don’t go by as smoothly.

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sheenabarnett said in July 28th, 2010 at 8:55 am

sigh.

it breaks my heart to see it.

but…i am a reporter. i’m a reporter who works paycheck to paycheck. every time my paycheck runs out (which is, since the recession, every pay period), i have to find money elsewhere. lately, i’ve been pulling from my little bit of vacation savings. i don’t really see things getting any better in terms of pay for reporters, though.
it breaks my heart to have to pull from my little bit of savings, and it breaks my heart to see advertising on the front page of any paper. but, desperate times, eh?

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Brandon said in July 28th, 2010 at 9:02 am

One of my fears is once we open this door, it will remain this way. Once something has been established as acceptable, even if it is a short term fix, it is hard to return to old ways (or, in many cases, to move beyond that). Then again, whether we choose to believe it, many magazines may as well be advertisements for fashion designer x or product y. I guess magazines could do the same thing by slapping some product names up there and making some easy money.

Will it save jobs? Perhaps. Will these be the jobs of good journalists saved? I can’t say. My hope is that is the case. But I think this is only a temporary fix to a long term problem. Newspapers are in the process of a great transformation and evolution. I suppose we will all have to take a page from the billboard industry and “Watch this space.”

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