Thursday, October 02, 2003

Real Life, Real News, Real Crap?

Jim Romenesko's Media Memos has a lengthly memo purportedly from Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan about a new program hitting Gannett newspapers and how it specifically affects the Enquirer. This plan, "Real Life, Real News" amounts to basically human interest market driven news. What we are going to get now is giving readers what they want, or say they want. We therefore can expect to get less of hard news. The marketing study part of this program indicates a gender and age gap. It seems that all that means to the Enquirer Management is that we (the readers) want to make the Metro section in a Tempo part deux. This except sums up what they are going to do to change their age gap:
Real Life source: As we developed a product aimed at 25-34s, we created an e-mail list of several groups of young professionals and creatives and invited them for several get-acquainted discussions over the summer. The discussions reinforced much of what we have talked about - they are interested in local news about neighborhoods and things unique to Cincinnati, places to go and things to do, goods things happening in the community, news from their neighborhoods, restaurants, local music, travel ,careers, health and fitness, arts and culture. They want to see and hear from their own generation, not what they see as our out-of-touch critics. And, they talked about looking forward, not to the past (complaints about the "riots" obsession…and, Pete Rose - many of them were born after the Big Red Machine days).
We are now going to get Dateline NBC and People Magazine in the pages of the Enquirer. If we young professionals care about what our politicians are doing I guess we are just shit out of luck. Charlie Luken, Simon Leis, and Phil Burress can do what ever the hell they want, but since the Enquirer seems to think "we" want to burry our heads in the sand, I guess we get the same crap you can watch on every Local TV station, FLUFF. Callinan tried to say this was not fluff, but it is. It is human interest gone amuck.

A second negative appears to be an abandonment of the City of Cincinnati. The suburbs will now be the focus of the paper. Every example from the memo dealt with suburban issues. The Enquirer seems to be following the ways of WLW.

The only positive thing from this memo is the realization of the importance of the internet and an increase in special content for the internet. What that exactly entails was not detailed. The Enquirer has recently increased the number of times a day they are updating the front page of their website with news stories. This is a positive step. It would be nice to do this on the weekends too, but they would need to hire some new to do it, or just break down and hire me to do a blog (cough, cough).

More from Gannett.

UPDATE: Dr. Andrew Cline at Rhetorica has a very different view on this "new" program.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.