Georgia Newspapers in the Information Age

Cable News Network launch
Photograph of a woman using a computer at the Athens-Clarke County Library, Athens, Georgia, circa 1995
Vanguard, Vol. 2, issue 1

Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, newspapers began the most dramatic transformation in the history of the industry. Georgia newspapers started a long process of consolidation in the 1950s, as national corporations purchased daily newspapers in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Columbus, Macon, and Athens and merged intracity papers. Weekly newspapers, on the other hand, commonly consolidated on a regional basis, with neighboring papers publishing under a single owner. Even more substantial change came with the emergence of computer-based technologies. These innovations changed both how newspapers produced their content and how readers consumed it. By the century's end, Georgia newspaper publishers large and small began to abandon long-standing technologies in favor of a more computerized process for producing newspaper content. The growth of information technology also changed the manner in which people consumed news. The advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s generated a new demand for online news content and newspaper publishers responded by hosting their own websites to accompany their print editions. A decrease in print newspaper subscriptions in the decades that followed, combined with the increased popularity of online news sources, led many Georgia newspapers and newspapers across the country to monetize their online content by offering online subscriptions and digital editions of print issues. As technologies and behaviors continue to change in the twenty-first century, so too will the approach of delivering news in Georgia and around the world.