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Distinguish between types of publications

About newspapers

Purpose

You probably know this already: Newspapers' primary purpose is to inform you of current events.

Intended audience

Newspapers are aimed at the general public - articles are written so that the average person can understand them.

Authors

Typically written by journalists

Characteristics

  • Some newspapers are online-only (ex. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Ann Arbor News) while others are available in print and online (ex. New York Times, Wall Street Journal)
  • Print newspapers may have a few color photographs, but are mostly black and white; online news stories are more likely to have color photographs
  • Many articles do not have authors listed
  • Articles are usually short, and do not include references

Publisher

Most newspapers in the U.S. are owned and published by large media conglomerates, such as Advance Publications, Hearst Communication, and News Corp.

Frequency

Most newspapers publish new issues / new articles either:

  • Every day
  • A few times a week
  • Once a week

What's the difference between print newspapers and their websites?

Most newspaper websites contain everything that was published in the print version of the newspaper (though a lot of that content will require you to pay for a subscription).

However, not everything on a newspaper website is also in the print version! 

If you're looking at a newspaper website, it can be really difficult to tell whether that article appeared in print or not.

Some sites will tell you that an article appears in print - here's an example from the New York Times website: 

Other sites don't provide that information. If you need to know whether the article appeared in print, too, ask a librarian - we can help you figure it out!

What are some examples of newspapers?

Ask a Librarian