Plain Dealer is one of 12 newspapers nationwide that's changed or cut how it delivers news

KENT, Ohio - Cleveland's Plain Dealer newspaper is one of a dozen major newspapers nationwide that's changed or cut how it delivers news. That's according to NewspaperDeathWatch.com , a website that tracks the decline of newspaper and industry changes.

"This is all a major change, but it's a trend that's going on around the country," said Thor Wasbotten, director and professor for Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Besides the Plain Dealer, NewspaperDeathWatch.com reports the Detroit News/Free Press, the Portland Oregonian, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are among the dozen that have changed how frequently it delivers news. Or they've adopted an online-only coverage model or a hybrid print/online model.

"We've always been as journalists kind of the watchdog for communities," Wasbotten said. "We've reported on community news, community issues and brought communities together."

There are another dozen major papers that have shut down across the country in the last five years, according to the website. They include the Cincinnati Post, Tucson Citizen and the Baltimore Examiner.

"I don't think journalism is going to die out completely," said Rebecca Reis, a journalism student at Kent State University.

Reis said news about the Plain Dealer cuts doesn't make her think twice about her career choice. It didn't phase her classmate Christina Bucciere either.

"There are a lot of stories out there that we need to hear and need to be told," said Bucciere, a junior who's also majoring in journalism.

Wasbotten said it's too soon to tell whether Plain Dealer readers will notice a void in news coverage and in-depth reporting.

But the changing horizon of the journalism industry is exciting to both Bucciere and Reis.

"News is something we'll always need so that's not going to go away," Bucciere said.

"I enjoy that sense of importance when I'm writing stories, talking to people, and getting information," Reis said.

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