USA Today rewrites strategy to cope with Internet

USA Today designed its coin-operated dispensers to resemble TV screens, but today’s flatscreen TVs don’t have rounded corners anymore. The content is getting a refresh, though.

That breezy approach has reinforced perceptions that USA Today lacks the intellectual heft and sway of the Times and another national newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. Both those newspapers are also trying to expand their audiences and sell more advertising on digital devices.

“USA Today doesn’t stand for authority in a lot of areas,” Doctor says. “It stands for familiarity.”

Even USA Today’s mass appeal is waning as Internet search engines and other tools on digital devices enable people to parse the news to find just the stories that suit their tastes. Those selections then are frequently passed on to people’s own relatively small circles of family, friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter – two online communication channels that have emerged as cultural phenomena in the past three years.

“USA Today was designed as every man’s newspaper, but every man has been moving on to other things,” Atorino says. —Bismarck Tribune Online – World and National News.