Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Launched in the fall of 1982 as “the country's first national, general-interest daily newspaper” with the express intent of supplying an enjoyable, easy read, especially to affluent Americans on the move, USA Today met with immediate critical derision. Its emphasis on short, tight writing, generous use of photos and graphics, and expanded attention to lifestyle and sports earned it the moniker “McPaper,” the “fast food” of newspapers. Wags likened the encounter with USA Today to “reading the radio,” and said the paper might win a Pulitzer for “best paragraph.” Industry analysts were skeptical as well, doubtful that a new paper could succeed in an era when dailies were closing. From the start, however, readers were enthusiastic, advertisers responded, and after five years of losing money, USA Today began to turn a profit in 1987. Ultimately, the paper would achieve both editorial and financial success, and would continue to gain USA ...