Markets assignment | BUS 636 Media Management & Innovation | Ashford University


Ashford 3: – Week 2 – Assignment

Case 5.3 Spanning the Market

Read Case 5.3 Spanning the Market in the course text. In a three to five page paper, please address the following:

  • Describe the most pressing problem for The Beacon’s publisher. 
  • Identify the greatest weakness in this situation related to external impacts.
  • Develop a resolution to the greatest weakness in this situation.
  • Assess whether or not The Beacon should be classified as a “Black newspaper” and why. 
  • Evaluate where the town of Conway is in the adoption process regarding The Beacon.
  • Discuss what action The Beacon should take with regard to local advertisers with The Times and discuss whether the publisher should be concerned with the record. 
  • Compare how the model of starting a Hispanic newspaper may or may not differ from the one of starting a Black newspaper. 

Support your position for each answer using course material and additional research.

The paper

  • Must be three to five double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  • Must use at least two scholarly sources in addition to the course text. 
    • The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment. 
  • Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center

Case 5.3 Spanning the Market

You are John Smith, the White publisher of the first Black weekly newspaper published by your national newspaper company, the Beacon. The paper is located in the small southern city of Conway— and you’ve already upset nearby competing publication The Conway Times. The Beacon Company owns the Morning Press-Herald, among several other newspapers in the South, and you’ve just finished plans to start The Conway Beacon, a weekly newspaper specifically targeted to the Black community in East Conway. The newspaper, which could start printing as early as two months from now, expects to have a steady circulation of about 10,000. Such papers usually are very much neighborhood- and community-oriented, and the Beacon will serve the news needs of East Conway, where the Conway daily paper the Record has the lowest concentration of readers. Despite the impending launch, you feel further research is needed on models of good weekly newspapers. Conway Times Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Edie Jones has said she would be more supportive of the Journal if a Black company owned it. “We really have Black news,” she said, adding that her newspaper, based in the state capital 60 miles away, already reaches the Conway market. The Times is one of more than 10 Black newspapers in the state that are members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a Black news service with more than 200 member papers, according to its Web site. You know focus groups suggested there was no newspaper serving East Conway, so the parent company decided to bring out the paper in an era of rising niche-market news publications (other newspaper companies in the country have created Hispanic-targeted papers to reach the growing Hispanic community in the Southwest, Southeast, and large urban areas). Information gathered from the latest U.S. Census Bureau report estimated that of Conway’s 86,846 residents, 20,365 residents, or more than 23%, were Black. Almost 15% of the state’s 7 million residents are Black. Jones’ remarks illustrate views of other Black Conway residents, who said The Times was a much-needed alternative to years of under coverage by the city’s dominant mainstream newspaper, the 47,000-circulation Conway Record. In a city dominated by a branch of State University, they say, it is easy to overlook poor Black residents across town. You’ve been hesitant, however, to admit the Beacon is a Black newspaper, insisting it all depends on how a Black newspaper is defined. Does it start out with some point of view or advocacy? You don’t think so. You wanted to have a very good newspaper covering the community of East Conway.

However, experts on Black media say it takes more than stories on Black people to make a Black newspaper and that if the Beacon Company could leverage relationships with major advertisers to support The Times— accessing advertising dollars traditionally earmarked for ethnic media— it wouldn’t matter if the new publication lived up to the classic mission of a Black newspaper. Black publishers insist that for years they’ve gone to major advertisers and been denied advertising. They feel that if the Beacon comes into Black media and brings all these advertisers with them, how can they compete? All this negative attention surprises you. The criticism intensified when you fired your choice for editor, Black journalist Shanda Higgins for reasons known only to you. It heightened suspicions the paper’s management might not be comfortable with editorial stands expected of Black newspapers, which have a history of diehard advocacy for Black people. “Having a Black newspaper without the advocacy won’t work,” Jones has said. You admit that the Beacon is a hybrid of sorts between a traditional neighborhood newspaper and a Black-focused publication. If this seems phony to East Conway residents, they won’t buy it, you believe.

Sylvie, G., Wicks, J. L., Hollifield, C. A., Lacy, S., & Sohn, A. B. (2012). Media management: A

casebook approach (4th ed.). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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