USA Today is merely “fast-food news

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Obtain a copy of your local daily paper and USA Today for the same date. (If you have Internet access and both papers have Internet editions, look at them online, noting the addresses of each.) Read both of them carefully, taking notes about their similarities and differences. Then write an essay or discuss in class the answers to the questions below. Look carefully at the front pages of each paper. How would you classify the stories?as international, national, state or local news? (Identify each story; you can do this in your text or in a chart format.) How do you think the editors of both papers chose these stories for the front page? Why do you think they chose the stories they did? Describe what you imagine is a typical reader for your local daily paper. Describe a typical USA Today reader. How do they differ? How are they similar? USA Today has no local audience. How do you think that affects editors? news decisions? How do the editors attempt to meet “local” interests across the nation? Do you agree with some media critics who argue that USA Today is merely “fast-food news”? Does it do a good job of serving its readers? Does your local paper do a better job of serving its readers? How? How could both papers do a better job for their readers? Be specific in your suggestions for each newspaper. If you have looked at both papers on the Internet, discuss the ways the papers are different online compared to their print versions. What are the advantages of the Internet versions? What are the advantages of the printed versions? Are there disadvantages to each version?





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