by Roger Pynn
Big Brother the lifetime journalist made a point I’ll not forget when he said he used to tell researchers “I don’t want to know what people say they want to see in their newspaper because that restricts them to thinking of newspapers. Instead, I want to know what they want to know.”
Then I saw Orlando Sentinel Technology Writer Etan Horowitz tweet about Bill Wyman’s SpliceToday.com article (http://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/five-key-reasons-why-newspapers-are-failing) Five Key Reasons Why Newspapers Are Failing … and why they don’t get talked about.
Wyman takes darned near forever to tell you stuff you already knew. It is history. Nothing more … until he gets to the bitter end and offers up nine things he would do if put in charge of a chain of newspapers.
And there you will find out the real reason why newspapers are failing: you shouldn’t put newspaper people in charge of papers. I should know. I was one. But, I got out and learned how to run a business.
Despite what self-appointed cultural critic Wyman has to say, newspapers are far more than “shoppers” – those annoying freebies containing classified ads and awful excuses for display advertising.
Newspapers are advertising vehicles that made money because people wanted to know something … and rather than worrying about who else was supplying that information, they worked tirelessly to inform.
Unfortunately, as my brother obviously knew, readers’ perception of what made news was clearly shaped by their medium of choice. As new media emerged, Troglodytes could no longer hide from pulp alternatives and it was only a matter of time until they realized that what they wanted to know was actually at TMZ.com (http://www.tmz.com/) where today’s EXCLUSIVE lead story is that according to Paula Abdul, “‘Idol’ Ain’t So Bad After All!”