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London’s viewsy, witty, and naughty newspapers point to the future of online news 8/15/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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Increasing numbers of Americans are suffering from “Revolutionary’s Remorse” regarding the free press they fought for a couple of centuries ago. They are yearning for the newspapers and newsmagazines of their British motherland according to FollowTheMedia and EditorsWeblog, with at least one London paper reporting more than twice as many American as British online readers.

The reason for America’s growing love affair with these papers is that the Brits never forgot that the customer is always right. They said “rubbish” to the idea of trading the need to please the reader for “objectivity,” and abandoning silliness for seriousness. Consequently, London is now home to a series of views-papers and boobs-papers that make for a lot more enjoyable reading than America’s dull fare. These include the Morning Star (Far Left), the Guardian (Left), the Daily Mirror (Center-Left Tabloid), the Sun (Center “t & a” Tabloid), the Daily Mail (Center-Right Tabloid), the Times of London (Center-Right), the Financial Times (Center-Right Business), and the Telegraph (Right). Using this as a key, you should now be able to follow this skit from the British TV comedy “Yes Prime Minister.”

There’s no chance that America’s sinking papers will have an epiphany about any of this right now. That ship has sailed, as they desperately cling to their seaworth-less objectivity/seriousness model. But, for news outlets seeking safe passage to financial-terra-firma in online news, the Old World is pointing the way to the New one. (Hat tip: Jennifer Boriss)

Comments»

1. pixologic - 8/16/07

Rupert Murdoch helped to make London the global tabloid capital.

2. Steve Boriss - 8/16/07

Pixologic — Good point – he definitely did move the London press in that direction. Of course, that has always been a latent consumer interest. It was expressed in newspapers during the early nineteenth century days of the “Penny Press” on both sides of the Atlantic, and also in the notorious “Yellow Journalism” era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the U.S., Murdoch has moved the NY Post in that direction, and even on Fox News he includes a show called “On the Record” with Greta van Susteren which covers tabloid-style stories told in a more respectable way through the use of interviewing attorneys. Seems like there will at least be a piece of this in his plans for the Wall Street Journal.

3. Kristine - 8/16/07

Well, here’s is an old saying that still sums up British papers pretty well. Don’t know if you’ve ever come across it:

“The Times is read by those who govern the country, The Daily Telegraph by those who used to govern the country, The Guardian by those who think they should be governing the country, the Financial Times by those who own the country, the Daily Mail by the wives of those who own and govern the country, and The Sun by those who don’t care who governs the country as long as she’s got big boobs.”

Another version: “The Daily Telegraph is read by those who think Communists are governing the country, The Morning Star by those who think Communinists should govern the country – and The Sun by those who couldn’t care less as long as she’s naked.”

4. Steve Boriss - 8/16/07

Kristine, Very funny. Be sure to watch the YouTube video on my post. Not incidentally, I’m still recovering from the http://www.seoghoer.dk/ online newspaper you called your readers’ attention to on your blog http://www.kristinelowe.blogs.com/kristine_lowe/ the other day. We Americans are not quite as “free” as our Scandinavian friends, although we seem to be moving in that direction.

5. Kristine - 8/18/07

Right, should have watched the video before leaving that comment, of course. That only goes to show one of the things I was thinking about this morning: who watches all the video content online newspapers are working so hard to provide these days? I might be in unique position because I read such a huge amount of feeds next to very busy workdays that I rarely have time to watch video content like that during the week, need my feeds quick, easy and skimmable, but might, like today, come back and watch YouTube videos over the weekend. I’d never go back to watch videos from online newspapers though: I expect to find what I need in the headlines, but with YouTube videos people link to, I expect them to be fun or in other ways enlightening. Thing is, I don’t know anybody else who pays much heed to the video content of online newspapers either unless it’s something very tabloid…

6. Steve Boriss - 8/18/07

Kristine, Actually, it’s all my fault you didn’t hang around long enough to view the video. I ignored the helpful advice you posted on your blog from Se og Hör Editor-in-Chief Henrik Qvortrup: “We aren’t idiots. We know very well that a lot of people come to our website to look at naked women. But perhaps the fact that we now also provide news there can make the readers linger a bit longer.” Even if as a woman that might not be your particular “cup of tea,” my ramblings on the future of news are facing tough competition for my readers’ roving eyes 🙂


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