People Don’t Want Stupid, Trivial News


But gradually, the interest from readers began to eclipse the interest from other journalists and a subtle shift began to take place in our newsroom priorities. A good example was our coverage of the UK government’s health reforms, whichmany readers felt didn’t do justice to the worrying revolution facing one of Britain’s national treasures. We initially responded by ramping up ourlive coverage of the two-day NHS debate in the House of Lords – attracting over 1,000 comments. But we also asked ourhealth reporter to do a bit of digging and list today an upcoming story on how cuts have already begun to hit services.

I’m tired of watching newspapers and news organization justify their downward spirals into triviality and TMZ-style celebrity crap by saying that’s what readers want, when they often have no more data than a “most e-mailed” stat from their cluttered, ugly web sites.


2 thoughts on “People Don’t Want Stupid, Trivial News

  1. This valedictory column by Richard Ingrams says what needs to be said about the news business:
    Money quote: “As for the readers, I have always thought they should be ignored. One of the great mistakes newspapers have made in recent years is to work on the assumption that with the help of market researchers and focus groups they can discover what their readers want. But readers don’t know what they want until they get it.”
    When I was in the editing game, that was always my touchstone; readers really DON’T know what they want until they get it. In any case, it’s the newspaper’s job to give them what they need. If the paper’s doing it’s job, people will realize it’s also what they want. Focus groups are fools’ errands sold by consultants who could care less about newspapers to weak-minded publishers.

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