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A Balance Between Imitation and Contrast: What Makes Newspapers Successful? A Summary of Internationally Comparative Research


  • Klaus Schoenbach


What is it that helps printed newspapers successfully compete with other media for the audience: marketing efforts, content, or their design? This article discusses the results of the most recent studies of an extensive research program on this topic. It began with the evaluation of 350 local dailies in Germany in the mid-1990s. Papers were reexamined: 60 in 2001, 28 in 2002. Success factors revealed in the foundation study-such as clearly structuring the content, local orientation and a generous design-are still valid, but now have to be applied in a more refined manner. A replication with 50 U.S. newspapers provided material for both an analysis of newspaper success in the United States and for a German-American comparison. The recipes for newspaper success point to convergence between the two countries, but also to some cultural differences in what reading a newspaper means.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Schoenbach, 2004. "A Balance Between Imitation and Contrast: What Makes Newspapers Successful? A Summary of Internationally Comparative Research," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 219-227.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jmedec:v:17:y:2004:i:3:p:219-227
    DOI: 10.1207/s15327736me1703_7

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