Listen to part of lecture in a journalism class.
Professor.About 40 years ago, half of all Americans felt they'd be lost without a daily newspaper. But today, only one in ten Americans say they'd be lost without a paper. In fact, today, half of all Americans say they don't need a newspaper at all.
And so people in the newspaper industry are trying to figure out how they can get more people reading the newspaper more often. They're trying to crack journalism's riddle for the ages: what makes people read newspapers? OK, well let me ask you-as a journalism student, what do you think is the answer to this question? Elizabeth?
Female student: Um, I would probably try to improve the content of the newspaper.
Professor: Better content.Hmm. You mean like well-written editorials and articles?
Female student: Well, l mean provide more interesting content, like, I would first try to find out what readers really want to read.. and then put that into the paper.
Professor: Yes , in fact , not too long ago, there was an extensive study conducted to investigate what draws people to newspapers. Uh,they found out that there's a clear, strong link between satisfaction with content and overall readership. Those newspapers that contained what the readers wanted most brought in the most readers. No big surprise there, right? So , what kind of content brings in readers? The study found that people-centered local news ranks at the top of the list..stories about ordinary people.
For example , you could write about the experiences of those who were involved in a news story , and their friends and relatves.The vantage points would be those of ordinary people , not of police or other officials.OK? Now the study also showed that people want more stories about movies , TV , and weather, and fewer stories and photos about natural disasters and accidents. So, to get reader satisfaction , you need to select the right topics , and within those topics, the right news events or stories to cover. Yes , James?
Male student: It seems to me that a lot of what you just mentioned doesn't line up with the principles of good journalism. Catering to readers' tastes may improve overall readership, but what about the social responsibilities that newspapers have? l mean, there are some topics that newspapers need to write about in order to seve the public interest. Those topics may not aways be fun and interesting for the average reader, but it's still the newspaper's responsibility to make that information available to the public.
Professor: That's a good point. You need a good mix of content. You can't just rush towards an attractive topic and forget about the reporting role of newspapers. There's a danger of going soft-newspapers do have to perform their obligations to citzens. So what newspapers sometimes do is to combine serious journalism with a reader-friendly presentation.
Um, let me give you an example: when the justice department opened an investigation on the local police-some pretty serious stuff that could be boring to some readers-well, one local newspaper ran a lead story on their front page, but they also simplified the format by including small breakout boxes that presented-in a nutshell-the highlights of the story.
That way, they could report the serious stories they needed to report, and, and still hold their readers' attention. OK? Uh, going back to the research on readership growth we were talking about..Uh, the most vital step of all, the study shows, may be making the paper easier to use. How can we make the paper "easier to use'? Well, it means stories need to include information, such as phone numbers, times, dates, addresses, Web sites and the like, so that readers can "go and do" things based on what they've read.
Female student: Professor Ellington? Um, when you said we need to make the paper "easier to user" , l thought you were gonna saysomething about use of graphics, colors, and stuff like that.
Professor: Well I guess those things do help in a way, but i turned out that those contemporary touches, uh, such as more atractive designs, extensive use of color, and informational graphics matter much less than you'd expect. Surprising, isn't it?
Female student: Yeah, it is ..Um, how about service? Does the study say anything about improving service? l dont think people are gonna subscribe if the paper doesn't arrive, or shows up late...
Professor: Or shows up wet, which by the way, happened to me this moming.Oh, absolutely. Service affects readership. In fact ,improving your service is much more likely to increase your readership than making changes in your editorial content. Not only on-time delivery in good condition, but also things like efficient billing, affordability, um... Yes?
Female student: They could also, like, increase the number of sites where they sell single copies.
Professor: Certainly that's one way to improve service.
新闻学的lecture，教授重点说了如何让报纸提高销量的方法。在过去的几十年的研究中，研究者发现，人们更愿意购买本地报纸中包含普通人的story，而不是office或police有关的，这是他们的兴趣内容。教授还提到，人们不太喜欢natural disaster相关的内容，这一类的内容不怎么令人感兴趣。男学生质疑，报社为了提高销量不应该去做一些本职的事情吗？比如报道符合公共利益的重大事件？教授回答，这些内容会被报道出来in a nutshell - the highlight of the story。教授还提到有一个更加关键的步骤，说比起写更高质量的editorial，基础服务更加重要，比如更多投递网点，这样能建立良好的scholar ship，让读者群体更加愿意购买报社的报纸。
- journalism 新闻学
- riddle 谜语
- editorials (报刊的)社论;(美国电台或电视台的)评论
- conducted 实施
- extensive 广阔的;广大的;大量的;广泛的;广博的
- overall 全面的
- readership 读者群
- overall readership 总体读者
- ordinary people 普通人
- vantage 有利条件
- obligations 义务
- nutshell 果壳；简而言之
- affordability 负担能力（我觉得可以理解成“买得起的能力”）
- line up with the principles of good journalism 遵守好新闻的原则
- public interest 公共利益