A Renewal of Subscription Renewal Scams

Like reading home-delivered newspapers and magazines? Pay close attention to invoices that claim to start or renew your subscriptions. In an old scam that has recently been, ahem … renewed, third-party companies are mailing bogus subscription invoices that purport to be “on behalf  of” well-known publishers. Problem is, the firms may not be working with publishers as claimed. Several leading publishers have recently been hit in this scam, which aims to get you to make payments directly to the outside company, not …

Al Neuharth: 5 Ways USA Today’s Founder Changed the Newspaper

There are two schools of thought about USA Today founder Al Neuharth, who died on April 19 at age 89 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. Some think he helped ruin the newspaper, an institution older than our country itself, by turning it into a paper-and-ink imitation of TV news. Others think he helped modernized a desperately outdated medium and, in so doing, perhaps staved off its demise. Either way you choose to look at it, though, the former Gannett CEO was …

Are You Giving Up on the News?

They were our heroes. Woodward and Bernstein brought down a president. The New York Times published “The Pentagon Papers” in the face of government resistance to revealing damaging truths. “Uncle” Walter Cronkite spoke for many Americans when he concluded that the Vietnam War was not winnable. Many in our generation saw the news media as a positive force in society, driving out secrecy and corruption with the “disinfecting” light of information. Today, as a recent AARP poll shows, journalists have …

Poll: Half of Americans Prefer TV News; Older Adults Pay Closest Attention

Television is still the preferred news source for half of Americans, though it may not retain its dominance for long. While about 60 percent of older adults prefer TV news, just 34 percent of 18 to 35-year-olds say it’s their top choice, with 55 percent of this younger cohort preferring Internet news sources. And that’s far from the only generational difference in news preferences and interest. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll, the age groups differ not only in their preferred news sources but in the ways they consume and pay attention to news, as well.

The Takeaway: Funky Winkerbean Ages Along With Comic Creator Tom Batiuk

Comic strip “Funky Winkerbean,” created by Tom Batiuk, is celebrating a profitable 40-year-run in American newspapers. The strip debuted in 1972, featuring Funky, Les and other high-school age characters. But as Batiuk got older, he decided to let the characters age along with him. And like Batiuk and other boomers, they began dealing with adult problems, too.

The Takeaway: Olive Garden Reviewer Marilyn Hagerty Is No Flash in the Pan

Granny Goes Viral: Marilyn Hagerty’s unpretentious review of the Grand Forks, N.D., Olive Garden has become quite the Internet sensation. But Hagerty is no newspaper novice: The 85-year-old Grand Forks Herald columnist (and grandmother of eight) has been writing and editing for state papers for 65 years.