iewPoint | Volume 2 | Number 4 | April 2006
A forum for news about Verified and the business in which we thrive.

This Month's Features:
Verified Unveils New Trademark
Print Still Primary Source for News Content
Verified Offers New Category Search Feature
Events Calendar
Alcohol Industry Tightens Over 70% Rule


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Verified Unveils New Trademark

Verified Audit Circulation has unveiled a new visual identity that signals a move forward into the future of circulation auditing, customized research, and field verification. The new trademark reflects the spirit of innovation and a significant broadening of capabilities that has occurred in recent years.

Verified has the exclusive rights to utilize the mark nationwide and to authorize others to use the mark. Just like past Verified logos, the new mark is a symbol of value, accuracy, and confidence.

The new mark can be viewed on our Website at www.verifiedaudit.com. Current clients will soon be receiving a fresh license agreement and the registered mark in electronic format (.jpg, .pdf, .eps, or .tif). Once received, please use the new mark exclusively in your publication and on future promotional materials.

If you have any questions, please contact Verified at (415) 461-6006.




Print Still Primary Source for News Content

All newspapers face the same economic reality: Reporting the news is a labor-intensive job. Good journalism requires manpower to collect facts and images to organize them into news. Especially time consuming is investigative journalism. All this costs serious money. Newspapers remain the country's biggest news gathering organization for original news. News aggregators like Google and Yahoo! do little or no news gathering of their own. Internet "news," as we now know it, cannot survive without news outlets to generate the content that makes searches possible.

Deep staff cuts in newsrooms are commonplace, with big metro papers among the hardest hit. It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 editors and reporters will have been cut by April 2006. In 1980, the Philadelphia Inquirer had 46 reporters covering the city. Today they have 24.

"The more we cut, the less value there is to sell," says Conrad Fink, a former Associated Press and newspaper executive who is now a professor at the University of Georgia. "We're close to the point, if not beyond it, of diminishing returns. Readers are saying the paper is not worth the time to devote to it."

If newspapers don't provide the resources to report on their communities in depth, who will?

Can blogs fill the void? Bloggers mostly repeat, not report. In a 2004 survey of the 100 most popular news-related blogs, University of South Carolina doctoral students, Bryan Murley and Kim Smith, found that half of the bloggers said they got most of their news and information from newspapers. Another 19 percent got most of their information from other bloggers, who in turn were likely to have gotten it from a newspaper or some other mainstream outlet.

What about citizen journalism? It might still be too early to tell. According to a December 2005 article in the Village Voice, longtime journalist, Sydney H. Shanberg, says most high-qualility reporting can't be done by laypersons.

"Serious journalism is labor-intensive and time-consuming and therefore requires large amounts of money and health benefits and pensions," said Shanberg.

Said Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, in a recent speech at the AAN West. "A lot of people now are excited...about citizen journalism, and I'm pretty excited about it, but I do want to remind people that...there's no substitute for someone who can write real well, no substitute for fact-checking, research, and editing."

A recent report from Columbia University's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that while there are more media outlets than ever before, these outlets are covering fewer stories. You will see more versions of the same stories, often with the same source—and sometimes a single source. The study found that we aren't getting any more news, just more of the same in different packages.

Newspapers maintain some strong competitive advantages, however. Newspapers have name recognition, trusted brand names, and still the biggest news gathering staff. In addition, they have built good community relationships. "I still think there's going to be strong demand for locally powerful journalism that no one can do like a newspaper," says Mike Burbach, editorial page editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "There's investigative and enterprise [reporting]. People respect and respond to the kind of information and digging that helps them make their lives and their communities better."




Verified Offers New Category Search Feature

Verified is currently updating our Website to make searching for publication data easier and more efficient. Media buyers and advertisers can now search Verified's Online Data & Reports by publication name, publishing company, city, state, and ZIP/postal code.

This new Website feature will allow Verified's extensive database to be searched by publication category also. This tool will make it even easier for media buyers and advertisers to find your publication. No other auditing company offers this free service.

The list below details the publication categories offered. Publications can chose to be listed under one or two categories.

Alternative
Arts & Entertainment
Business
Business to Business/Trade
City & Regional
Community Newspaper
Cooking
Directory/Listing
Ethnic/Cultural
Gay & Lesbian
Health & Beauty
Home & Design
Lifestyle
Parenting & Family
Recreation/Sports/Gambling
Senior
Shopper/Marketplace
Spanish Language

If you have any questions, please call Verified at (415) 461-6006.




Events Calendar

The 5th FIPP International B-to-B Conference
May 2–4, 2006
Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London
www.professionalmedia.info

Assoc. of Free Community Papers and the Community Papers of Florida 2006 Joint Conference
May 4–6, 2006
Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Miami, FL
www.afcp.org

North Dakota Newspaper Association Convention
May 5–6, 2005
Radisson Hotel, Bismark, ND
www.ndna.com

Arizona Newspaper Association 2006 Marketing Workshop
May 10–12, 2006
Fiesta Inn, Tempe, AZ
www.ananews.com

New York State Circulation Management Association Conference
May 10–13, 206
The Sagamore Resort, Lake George, NY
www.nyscma.com

Mid-Atlantic Circulation Management Association Conference
May 14–16, 2006
Hilton Hotel, Wilmington, NC
www.midatlanticcma.org


2006 Interactive Media Conference
(Sponsored by Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek)
May 17–19, 2006
Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, NV
www.interactivemediaconference.com

2006 South Dakota Newspaper Association Convention
May 19–20, 2006
Al Neuharth Media Center, USD Campus, Vermillion, SD
www.sdna.com

New England Association of Circulation Executives Annual Spring Sales Conference
May 21–24, 2006
Viking Hotel, Newport, RI
www.neace.com

Canadian Community Newspaper Association National Convention
May 24–27, 2006
Delta Quebec, Quebec City, QU, Canada
www.communitynews.ca

American Association of Independent News Distributors Spring Conference
May 24–27, 2006
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston, MA
www.aaind.org

Association of Area Business Publications Summer 2006 Conference
June 1–3, 2006
Peabody Little Rock Hotel, Little Rock, AR
www.bizpubs.org

Montana Newspaper Association 2006 121st Annual Convention
June 8–10, 2006
Holiday Inn Missoula-Parkside, Missoula, MT
www.mtnewspapers.com

Virginia Press Association 125th Anniversary Celebration
June 9–10, 2006
The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA
www.vpa.net

Free Community Papers of New York
June 11–13, 2006
Beaver Hollow Conference Center, Java Center, NY
www.fcpny.com

Circulation Management Conference & Expo
June 14–16, 2006
Hyattt Regency Chicago, Chicago, IL
www.circmanshow.com

Tennessee Press Association Summer Convention
June 14–16, 2006
Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn, Chattanooga, TN
www.tnpress.com

South Carolina Press Association 2006 IRE Conference
June 15–18, 2006
Renaissance Worthington Hotel, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
www.scpress.com

National Newspaper Publishers Association National Convention
June 20–25, 2006
Marriott Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI
www.nnpa.org

Mississippi Press Association Convention
June 22–24, 2006
Imperial Palace, Biloxi, MS
www.mspress.org

Texas Press Association 127th Summer Convention
June 22–24, 2006
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, The Woodlands, TX
www.texaspress.com

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.




Alcohol Industry Tightens Over 70% Rule

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) is the national association representing the producers and marketers of distilled spirits. The association represents over 2,800 brands of member companies which sell spirits, beer, and wine products.

In 2003, DISCUS adopted a Code of Responsible Practices in Advertising for its members. The best practices code was developed to guide its members in promotion and marketing of their brands. The code recommends that members advertise in media (broadcast, cable, radio, and print) in which at least 70% of the audience is reasonably to be expected to be above the legal drinking age.

DISCUS's guidelines are voluntary and self-regulating. "Our members have maintained high standards of corporate responsibility dating back to the repeal of Prohibition," said Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute. "We have continually updated our advertising and marketing code in response to societal changes and technological advancements."

In February 2006, the industry released its Semi-Annual Code Report which details complaints against DISCUS members, board decisions, advertiser actions, and important internal code reviews.

One recent action was a special binding initiative to remove advertisements from school library and program copies of a select group of well-known magazines, including Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated, Time, and US News and World Report. The initiative asks members to not advertise on the inside and back covers of these magazines if the magazine can't segregate the school copies in the binding process. This initiative becomes effective July 1, 2006.

Another DISCUS initiative restricts members from advertising in smaller publications that aren't included in research reports from Mediamark Research's MRI 12+ and Simmons demographic data. These smaller publications would need other independent, third-party survey data to be allowed to carry liquor ads.

The Federal Trade Commission has favored self-regulation as the best way to handle underage drinking and to ensure alcohol marketing won't reach those under 21. However, the 1999 FTC report recommended DISCUS adopt a third-party review system as an external check on compliance and to lend a measure of credibility to self-regulation.

The industry's code and the review process are being watched closely by consumer advocacy groups such as The Center for Alcohol Marketing to Youth, which is pushing for even tighter restrictions (85% instead of 70%).



Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
Phone: (415) 461-6006
Fax: (415) 461-6007

2006 Verified Audit Circulation.