"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, July 15, 2003

USA! USA!: A story in Time picks up on something that we've be harping on (and on and on) for quite some time, the quiet dominance of USA Today:

The [New York] Times (weekday circulation 1.1 million), in contrast, makes headlines with every journalism prize, mini-scandal and intrastaff squabble. Journalists will tell you all this attention is justified because the Times is the nation's most important newspaper. And this is true, if you keep in mind that the journalist's definition of important is "important to journalists." USA Today is not in an urban hot spot. In 2001 it moved (along with corporate parent Gannett) to spacious new digs, complete with fitness club, in the remote office-park suburbs of Washington. Its comparatively quiet newsroom culture doesn't make for juicy media gossip. Rather, it just discreetly makes its way into the hands, and consciousness, of more Americans than any other newspaper. Says Mark Halperin, political director for ABC News: "The media élites in Washington and New York who don't read USA Today unless they're traveling underestimate its influence in the lives of Americans." Walter Shapiro, a USA Today political columnist, says, "There's no greater feeling than being out somewhere in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and realizing that one has a choice of two newspapers for the entire press corps and the entire campaign: the local paper and USA Today." [more]

posted by Jeremy at 10:29 AM