United States is a federal republic consisting of fifty states and a federal district. United States is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area and the third-largest by both land area and population. Media of the United States consist of several different types of communications media: television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites. Newspapers have declined in their influence and penetration into American households over the years. The U.S. does not have a national paper.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are sold in most U.S. cities. The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal are also newspapers of record to a lesser extent. Although USA Today has tried to establish itself as a national paper, it has been widely derided by the academic world as the "McPaper". With very few exceptions, all the newspapers in the U.S. are privately owned, either by large chains such as Gannett or McClatchy, which own dozens or even hundreds of newspapers; by small chains that own a handful of papers; or in a situation that is increasingly rare, by individuals or families. Most general-purpose newspapers are either being printed one time a week, usually on Thursday or Friday, or are printed daily. Weekly newspapers tend to have much smaller circulation and are more prevalent in rural communities or small towns. Daily newspaper circulation is also slowly declining in America, partly due to the near-demise of two-newspaper towns, as the weaker newspapers in most cities have folded. For comparison, in 1950, there were 1,772 daily papers while in 2000, there were 1,480 daily papers.