USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)

First Advisor

Major Professor: Bernardo Motta, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Monica Ancu, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

James Anthony Schnur, M.A., M.A.L.I.S.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

March 24, 2017


According to the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), there are more than 200 local and regional publications directed to the African-American community in the United States. On its website, the NNPA lists a total of 157 members from 29 states. Currently, there exists no research on how these publications have adopted technology throughout time, or if the adoption of new media contributes to their growth and survival in the publishing industry. In Florida, The Weekly Challenger, Daytona Times and Florida Courier, 3 of 13 historical newspapers directed at the African-American population, are connected in history and structure and apply different types of survival methods and ways of adopting new technologies. How have these publications adopted technology through time? What are the types of trends that reflect these adopted technologies? What challenges are faced by the Black community weeklies? To answer these questions, the author conducted case studies employing participant observation, lengthy interviews, and historical research. The findings of this research indicate that in addition to traditional challenges, such as lack of advertisement, financial pressures and declining staffs, these newspapers have struggled with diminished workforces that lack professional and technological training and who also must perform multiple roles in the organization. Findings also show that the newspapers’ pattern of adoption is not planned, but a consequence of availability and chance.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Journalism and Media Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.