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Bigger, But Better? The Quad-City Times Dwarfs the Argus/Dispatch’s News Coverage PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Media
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 08:00

On December 1, the Quad-City Times ran 29 square inches of copy on the not-for-profit organization Skills Inc. shutting down at the end of the year. The Rock Island Argus ran an eight-square-inch brief on its front page.

This can be seen as a microcosm of the Quad Cities' two daily newspapers. A River Cities' Reader analysis found that last week, the Quad-City Times devoted 80 percent more space to local news content than the twin Illinois papers, the Rock Island Argus and the Moline Dispatch.

For the week of November 29 to December 5, the Times had 91 articles, editorials, and columns written by staff members or Lee Enterprises bureau reporters concerning local and state issues and news, totaling 2,300 square inches. The Argus/Dispatch had 69 such articles, totaling 1,274 square inches.

Including letters to the editor, the Times had more local news content each day last week than the Argus or Dispatch. Outside of Saturday's paper -- in which the amount of local news content was nearly the same -- each day the Times devoted at least 23 percent more space to local news content than the Argus/Dispatch did. On Monday, the Quad-City Times featured 307 square inches of local news content; the Argus/Dispatch had 30 -- all letters to the editor.

The Return of Terry Swails: How WQAD Scored the Biggest Name in Quad Cities Weather, and What It Means PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Media
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 06:08

Terry Swails

When the National Weather Service issued a Particularly Dangerous Situation tornado watch on May 25 last year, Terry Swails was in an unusual position: He could chase the storm - and not via a radar from the confines of a television newsroom.

He was in Iowa City that Sunday, coming home from a storm-chasing trip in Kansas during which he saw three tornadoes.

That Sunday storm produced the EF5 tornado that hit Parkersburg, Iowa - the strongest tornado in the state since 1968.

His wife Carolyn dissuaded him from chasing it - she'd had enough of storms - but for the first time in nearly three decades, Swails has been able to indulge his love of weather directly instead of through the technology of a television station. "When the storms came, I had to work," Swails said last week. "I was always inside."

On Monday, Swails returns to the airwaves after an 18-month absence, doing weather on WQAD's 6 p.m. weekday newscasts. It's a part-time gig, meaning that Swails can devote more time to the actual weather and to his Web site.

For WQAD, this is a bold partnership that will almost certainly erode KWQC's local-news dominance and could start a sea change. Channel 8 will allow Swails to directly promote on the air, and in exchange it will get the Quad Cities' most recognizable weather personality.

RIP, the Daily Paper: As Headlines Document the Death of Print Media, How Will Quad Cities Newspapers Survive? PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Media
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 06:00

Denver's Rocky Mountain News closed in February. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last print edition on Tuesday, and the threat of closure has been levied against the San Francisco Chronicle - which lost more than $1 million a week last year.

Earlier this month, Time magazine identified the "10 major newspapers that will either fold or go digital next."

And the Associated Press summarized in a March 15 article: "Four newspaper companies, including the owners of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in recent months."

Endangered Species: The Vanishing Washington Regional Reporter PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Media
Written by Jennifer Dorroh   
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 10:09

Plucked from the bulletin board of George Condon's office in the Copley News Service Washington bureau are 21 pink index cards, each representing a completed chapter of "The Wrong Stuff: The Extraordinary Saga of Randy ‘Duke' Cunningham, the Most Corrupt Congressman Ever Caught." The bureau's reporters broke the story of the California Republican's bribe-taking, and in the process won a Pulitzer for Copley and its flagship paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Coming Mono-Media PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Media
Tuesday, 27 May 2003 18:00
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to approve new rules dealing with the ownership of daily newspapers and broadcast-media outlets. These changes could dramatically alter the media landscape in the country, just as the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has resulted in the concentration of ownership of radio stations.

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