Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Daily papers cope with challenges to avoid being an endangered species

What would you miss most if your local paper didn't publish in print or online?
What do TV, radio and Internet-only news sites not provide that newspapers do? List as many items as you can.
Share what older family members have said about a daily paper's place in the household when they were students, or ask later today for discussion tomorrow.

Every major U.S. city still has a daily newspaper . . . for now. But no one in journalism dares predict confidently how long that will remain true. Steep drops in advertising and subscription revenue have hit the industry hard as Internet competition and the sick economy shake up the business landscape.
Two weeks ago, Colorado's capital (also its largest city) went from two respected dailies to one - the Denver Post - with the sudden death of the Rocky Mountain News. It had published for 83 years and was the state's oldest newspaper. And in Washington state's biggest city, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is likely to appear only online soon - leaving The Seattle Times as the area's only print daily.

Gannett, which publishes USA Today and more than 80 other daily papers, saw its Wall Street stock price plummet to a record low of about $2 a share last week. And on Monday this week, the company that owns The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee in California and other papers said it will eliminate 1,600 jobs.
While the deepening national economic recession had tightened the squeeze on newspapers, the industry actually identified the threat of declining readership three decades ago and has been working since then to evolve through new technologies. In April 1979, Knight Ridder Newspapers announced an experiment to provide content to households via phone lines and computers. "The major question is whether this service could provide the basis for a profitable network," the chain's president said. The question is still with us, though Knight Ridder isn't. (Another chain bought it in 2006.)

The crisis mood in newsrooms nationwide is reinforced by the abrupt cancellation of next month's American Society of Newspaper Editors convention for the first time since 1945, near the end of World War II. The annual conventions began in 1923 and went on through the Depression. "A good number of top editors just could not come," explains the group's director. "They did not want to leave their newsrooms at this time."
Other voices echo that sense of gloom. "I run into people, and their faces soften with sympathy and concern," Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur wrote last week. "Even my mechanic greeted me like it was visiting hours at the hospital: 'How are you holding up?' " In Washington, D.C. the executive editor at Bloomberg News says December's annual dinner of the capital press corps "was like being at a wake - every time you turned around, someone was talking about their bureau being closed or downsized.
And in Denver, staff members of the Rocky Mountain News documented their countdown to closing in a poignant 21-minute video called Final Edition (see below).

Legendary journalist says: "We are going through a convulsion. Probably we in the newspaper business have not responded fast enough or smart enough, but the need for information is greater. Not just the quick and dirty take of the Internet or bloggers, but people really digging into things and doing the long form." - Bob Woodward, Washington Post associate editor and former investigative reporter

Columnist says: "Political corruption such as Watergate and failed care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center might never have been revealed, if not for newspapers. People don't grasp all that just yet. But they will. And by then, we may be gone." - Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times

Analyst says: "This is what it looks like to go from bad to worse. We are in for more [newspaper] bankruptcies and more closures before long." - Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.