ERIC Number: ED229776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Social Ecology of the Newspaper.
Kaul, Arthur J.; McKerns, Joseph P.
The evolution of the newspaper industry can be viewed within the perspective of a dialectic ecology that emphasizes the determinative influence of the environment on the development of newspapers in the three stages of variation, selection, and retention. This perspective also introduces the concept of contradictions that rupture into life-threatening crises in the evolution of organizations. The variation, selection, and retention stages in the life-cycle of newspapers take into account four dimensions: population, technology, resources, and adaptation maneuvers. The newspaper industry evolved through a phase of disorganization before evolving along the lines of the following historic scenario: variation, 1825 to 1845; selection, 1845 to 1900; and retention, 1900 to the present. Contradictions generated by organizational growth and adaptation ruptured into periods of crisis: 1825 to 1845; 1890 to 1900; and 1960 to the present. The contemporary crisis in the newspaper industry is a result of the internal and external contradictions that have evolved since the 1830s. Internal contradictions reduced newspapers' flexibility and mobility in exploiting resources and in meeting competitive challenges. External contradictions produced a dense environment that heightened competitive pressures in the exploitations of resources. The dialectic of internal and external contradictions now threatens the life of the newspaper as a "surviving species" of information organization. (Author/HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalism History
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).