Read and speak about American press
Because of the great size of the USA, local newspapers are more important than national ones. Only the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Walt Street Journal are read over a large part of the country. But there are other newspapers that have a wide interest and influence; they include the Washington Post, the popular Daily News, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner. Most US newspapers are controlled by large monopolists.
American press plays an important part in the business of government. The press conference is an American invention. In the 20th century newspapers have ranged from tabloids featuring pictures and sensational news to “responsible journals”. Their pages are varied and include columns devoted to news, editorials, letters to the editor, business and finance, sports, entertainment, art, music, books, comics, fashions, food, society, television and radio.
As the great newspaper chains and news agencies grew, America’s press lost its individualistic character; many features are common to newspapers all over the country, which therefore have a uniform appearance.
Although there are no separate Sunday papers as there are in Great Britain, US daily papers do have special Sunday editions. Many of these are remarkable in size: the New York Times Sunday edition regularly has over 200 pages, and has had 946.
The New York Times has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the US, selling more than two million copies each day.
Aside from a few notable exceptions like the New York Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Washington Post, the press is daily filled with sex and violence. It is a river of morbidity, murder, divorce and gang fights. It is a mélange of chintzy gossip columns, horoscopes, homemaking hints, advice to the lovelorn, comics, crossword puzzles, insane features like: “Are you happily married? Take the following test…”
Almost every American newspaper carries comic strips, usually at least a page of them.
In contrast to daily newspapers, many magazines in the USA are national and even international. Those with the widest circulation are the Time, Reader’s Digest, TV Guide, Woman’s Day, Better Home and Gardens, Family Circle, the National Geographic Magazine and Ladies’ Home Journal.
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