The panelists talk about the past and future of USA Today, which recently marked its 30th anniversary.
Panelist Lisa Kernek points out the paper was widely scorned by journalists – but it was also widely imitated. USA Today influenced the industry by making papers more appealing visually and more reader-friendly.
Panelist Mike Murray said it was designed to appeal to the generations raised on television – its color photos and short stories made it a sort of newspaper version of a TV newscast.
The panelists talk about the trend toward hyperlocal coverage for small radio stations.
An article in the Naperville Sun highlighted several stations in the Fox River Valley that have succeeded by focusing on their own specific community rather than trying to attract the larger audience that's possible in the Chicago area. Station personnel feel they know their listeners -- and their listeners know them.