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USA Today: America's Newspaper

USA Today is America’s most widely read print newspaper, with 1.8 million copies in circulation in 2010. Published by Gannett Company, Inc., the national daily newspaper is distributed in all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Canada and the United Kingdom. USA Today publishes a weekend magazine in lieu of daily issues on Saturday and Sunday. Founded September 15, 1982 by newspaper industry mogul Al Neuharth, USA Today was more than a capitalistic effort; the mid-market national paper did not make a profit until at least 1993, some sources say 1998! However, continuously funded by Gannett, USA Today would go on to become the largest publication of it’s kind in the nation, bringing a different approach to news, and carving a niche in mainstream media.

Some analysts believe that USA Today was a media response to the post-Watergate-era press. With scandal and negativity prevailing in news media, USA Today served as an opposing force, reporting what was going right with the nation instead of what was going wrong. Utilizing an atypical newspaper layout and use of color to denote various sections, the articles are written in easy-to-read language and arranged in an easy access format. USA Today not only informs, but entertains and provides relevant statistics and stories that speak to the American culture and the quality of life of American readers.

Despite the intent to paint America in its best light, USA Today has also been involved in some media scandals:

  • 1992: Tennis superstar Arthur Ashe contracted HIV through a blood transfusion he received during heart surgery in 1988; however, he and his wife decided to keep his illness private. Reports that USA Today planned to publish a story about his condition forced Ashe to make a public statement about having the disease on April 8th of that year.

  • 2004: When long-time correspondent and Pulitzer Prize nominee Jack Kelley was accused of fabricating stories in March 2004, scandal hit USA Today. Tedious and thorough investigation on the claims were conducted by USA Today, including travel to Cuba, Israel, and Jordan to check facts and records in an effort to prove whether or not Kelley was where he claimed to be while researching and writing his stories. Although he denied the claims, Kelley resigned from USA Today, and then publisher Craig Moon issued a public apology on the front page of the magazine.

  • 2006: In May 2006, the USA Today reported that AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth had been working with the National Security Agency to compose “the largest database in the world.” The sources were anonymous NSA insiders who decided to go public. This expose upset the White House, particularly in light of reports from the New York Times revealing how the Bush Administration authorized NSA wiretaps of international phone calls and emails transmitted within the U.S.

USA Today currently sells for $1.00 on newsstands, but complimentary copies of the newspaper are distributed at many American hotels and airports.

by Steve "AmCy" Brown | copyright © 2021 www.FedPrimeRate.comSM
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