Happy Birthday to USA TODAY!
In mid-September of this year, USA TODAY celebrates 25 years of service to readers all over the world. It is published via satellite at 36 locations in the USA and at four sites abroad. With a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, USA TODAY is available worldwide. USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. Often fondly referred to as the Nation’s Newspaper or McPaper, this colorful daily is published Monday through Friday and is one of very few to inform readers nationally and internationally with such in-depth news coverage.
To celebrate their 25th birthday, they will be offering a series of commemorative Top 25 lists. You can find their full-page specials in the paper or online every week from now until September. The first two have both offered a fine mixture of entertainment and education. Check it out for some great reading material.
The first week they focused on 25 years of changing trends that changed the USA. When you see the many changes all profiled, with photos, on one page, it’s mind-boggling. It truly makes you wonder how we handled so many cultural changes at the same time so successfully. It certainly speaks to the character, tenacity, and determination of our country and its people.
They feature 25 major changes in their first article. Allow me to give you a short sampling of their in-depth research in hopes of enticing you to jump on this weekly bandwagon.
Safety: Fear of terrorism has changed our lives in so many ways. Color-coded threat levels, removing your shoes at airports, no-fly lists, Columbine, Amber alerts, and “America’s Most Wanted” to name just a few. I find it amazing how quickly we adapted to these many changes and now seem to take them in stride.
Snuffing out smoking: In 1982, you could smoke just about anywhere you chose. Then the banishment began in offices, then airplanes, then restaurants, public places, and now there’s a possibility of adding your car and home to this growing list. And don’t forget the availability of the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, and multi-million dollar lawsuits against big-money tobacco companies.
Tech creates cult of “me”: This trend seemed to appear overnight, and it’s growing at a tremendous rate of speed. Look at the advances in computers and cell phones. Consider the revolutionary switch from cassettes and VHS to CDs and DVDs. The internet opened the floodgates. Many of us are still unsure about MySpace.com, Facebook, and Blogs. It’s all about customization and personalization. Shop on TV with eBay and Amazon.com. Confirm your travel plans via dozens of expert websites. Use your TiVo to record any program to be watched at a more convenient time. Do the same thing by downloading your favorite music on your iPod or MP3. Capture your most secretive moments to play back for the world on YouTube, take pictures with your cell phone, or take part in your favorite reality TV program.
Bigger is better: We preach smaller but live bigger … McMansions, SUVs, Minivans, Megachurches, big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco. Megaplex theaters offering 55-gallon drums of Coke and box cars of popcorn. And have you tried Hardee’s Monster Thickburger (1,420 calories)?
A nation divided: Reagan Revolution. Bill Clinton. Rush Limbaugh. Al Franken. Hanging chads. Voter fraud. Red and blue states. Iran and Iraq. Border disputes. Halliburton. Gay rights. Governor Arnold. What’s next? First female President? First African American President? Anything could happen!
Global warming: Real or imagined. Everyone’s talking about carbon footprints, The Kyoto Protocol, the shrinking polar ice cap, melting glaciers, monster hurricanes, El Niño, La Niña, and Al Gore.
Pick up a USA TODAY for many more details and an on-going offering of interesting articles like this. We can look forward to these weekly treats every Monday from now until September 10th.
As the nation’s best-selling newspaper, the USA TODAY brand also includes: USATODAY.com, which is an award-winning news and information web site that is updated 24 hours per day, USA TODAY Sports Weekly, which is a magazine for enthusiasts of pro football and baseball, and USA TODAY LIVE, which is the television arm of the USA TODAY brand.