WIUM Tristates Public Radio

What's in a Name?

Sep 13, 2016

The Newspaper Association of America is changing its name and getting rid of the reference to "newspaper," which apparently is considered an outdated term.  The group, which has been around since the late 1800s, is now known as the News Media Alliance, which describes itself as "the leading voice for the news media industry."

Shop Talk panelist Will Buss said the name change is a sign of progress. He said newspapers aren’t going away, but they are evolving and are increasingly being read on-line. In addition, some news outlets can be found only on-line so the name change allows staff for those outlets to join and benefit from the organization. He also said the new name should appeal to younger reporters.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton thinks the new name is more inclusive, and she said that’s a smart thing to do because more people are turning to the web for information rather than traditional newspapers (or television or radio stations). Crighton said she doesn’t pay for newspapers to be delivered to her home or office -- she pays for access to the websites of news organizations.

Panelist Megan Sanchez, who is a Broadcasting major at Western Illinois University, said her peers don’t say they’ve read something in the newspaper, they say they’ve read it in (for example) the Washington Post. They don’t refer to it as a newspaper.  And Sanchez said she reads the Western Courier on her phone instead of picking up a printed copy, even though copies can be found throughout campus.

Some trade groups, such as the National Broadcasting Society, have resisted a name change.  Crighton said a majority of members preferred the tradition associated with the group’s long-standing name.