USA Today’s Advertiser-Friendly Future

A condensed version of an AP story (3/23/11) about USA Today‘s new business plan:

The nation’s second-largest newspaper is expanding its coverage of advertising-friendly topics, designing content for smartphones and tablet computers and refreshing the look of its print edition, whose circulation has fallen by 20 percent over the past three years….

For readers, it means lots of travel tips, gadget reviews, sports features, financial advice and lifestyle recommendations. Top editors say investigative journalism will also be emphasized….

Even as it publishes more stories aimed at attracting advertisers, USA Today is promising to produce more hard-hitting coverage from an expanded team of investigative reporters. The investigative unit now consists of nine reporters and editors compared with more than 30 people devoted to entertainment coverage.

For more on thereality of ad-friendly journalism, read Janine Jackson’s”Fear and Favor” report in the March issue of Extra!.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.