CEO of Times Mirror gives BYU good news about news



    The newspaper industry is not dead or even wounded, the Chief Executive Officer of Times Mirror Company said in the Communications Symposium on Thursday.

    The industry is in the midst of a change, he said.

    The Times Mirror Company is a Los Angeles-based news and information company that publishes such newspapers as The Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun.

    Mark H. Willes, CEO, chairman of the board and president of Times Mirror, said that the circulation of newspapers across the country is down, and he thinks it is down because the newspaper industry has not attempted to run the industry correctly in the past.

    “A newspaper needs to be factual, truthful and balanced to be a world-class paper,” he said.

    Willes said that he thinks the trend of newspapers adding an online site in addition to their newsprint has a good side and some drawbacks. The online version of newspapers allows the paper to furnish more detail to its readers,

    he said.

    “Newspapers are convenient, and it’s not so for an online version,” Willes said. They’re more portable and disposable.

    He said that advertising on the Internet is not as effective as it is in the print version because everyday items have a hard time being advertised on the Internet.

    He said he personally thinks the Internet is more important to the business-oriented rather than the people who seek it for reading material.

    Willes said that integrity, independence, imagination and integration are essential in the making of a great newspaper.

    By working on incorporating these elements in the newspapers the Times Mirror publishes, the circulation of the newspapers has increased, he said.

    In a press interview held before the symposium, Willes said that there will probably be a backlash against the media in the future because of the role of the paparazzi in Princess Diana’s death.

    “This is a good opportunity for high quality journalism to come through,” he said.

    Willes said journalists should try to impact the world in a thoughtful and comprehensive way.

    Students are also in a great position to impact and change the world, Willes said.

    He said that in order to be successful “it is important to be smart in absorbing information, energetic and curious.”

    “(A reporter’s job) is to improve the performance of society by sharing truth and understanding,” Willes said. He said that the newspapers should not only inform people, but also work to give a shared sense of community.

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