The Press and the Suburbs
The Daily Newspapers of New Jersey
The changing economic and demographic patterns of the United States have many measurements; few of them, however, are more comprehensive than the new circulation realities of the press. This volume tells the story of the twenty-six daily newspapers of New Jersey from the 1960s to the 1980s and in so doing tells the story of the rise of suburbia and the golden age of suburban journalism. In an intense effort to keep pace with the changing location of their readers—and most particularly with the upscale consumers—the shift to the suburbs was marked by changes in news coverage, advertising, and promotion.
Though people have predicted the decline of newspaper business for more than fifty years, they were proven wrong by the rise of the suburban press and by the survival of most newspapers, urban and suburban alike, through the 1980s and 1990s. But in the twenty-first century, the news and information industry has changed, and the national and international economy has faltered.
In his new preface, David Sachsman takes the reader on a tour of what happened to each of the New Jersey daily newspapers since the publication of the original. The twenty-six newspapers studied have dwindled to sixteen, and huge losses in circulation have caused drastic cutbacks and mergers. The decline in New Jersey newspaper readership is part of a national trend. This is an essential book for all American historians, journalists, and communication specialists.
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Table of Contents
PREFACE TO THE TRANSACTION EDITION
by George Sternlieb
The Suburbs and the Press. Suburban Journalism.
1 EVALUATING A STATE’S DAILY NEWSPAPERS
The Anatomy of Newspapers in America. The New Jersey Newspaper
Study. Content Analysis: Method. Content Analysis: Findings. Evaluating
New Jersey’s Daily’s Newspapers.
2 THE BIG FISH
The Ghost of the Newark News. The Star-Ledger: To the Survivor Go the
Spoils. The Slick, Rich Record of Hackensack. The Right Paper in the
Right Place at the Right Time: The Asbury Park Press. The Awakening
of the Courier-Post.
3 STAYING ALIVE IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
Morris County’s Daily Record. The Daily Advance Struggles to Survive.
The New Jersey Herald in Rural Sussex. The Herald-News: “You Might
Even Ask Why We Exist.” Allbritton’s Thin Sisters: The Paterson News
and the Hudson Dispatch. Jersey City’s Journal. The Daily Journal of
4 SUBURBAN CENTRAL NEW JERSEY
The Home News: On the Banks of the Raritan. “Where the Hell Is Bridgewater,
New Jersey?” The Very Local News Tribune of Woodbridge.
5 THE GREAT TRENTON NEWSPAPER WAR . . . AND PEACEFUL LEVITTOWN
The Great Trenton Newspaper War. The Burlington County Times: Growing
Up in Levittown.
6 THE JERSEY SHORE . . . AND POINTS SOUTH
Living in the Shadow of the Asbury Park Press: The Daily Register and the
Ocean County Times-Observer. The Atlantic City Press Bets on Casinos.
Cumberland County’s Three Dailies. The Gloucester County Times Goes
Local. Today’s Sunbeam Serves Salem.