A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

When did we stop promoting the news in newspapers?

TV stations continue to promote their news services as trustworthy and providing quality. You hear their advertisements in radio, see them on billboards and read them in print. Radio stations, too, promote the quality and depth of news and current affairs coverage. Not so much newspapers or am I not seeing content focused sell promotion? Sure newspapers use their own pages to promote themselves, but not outside, not to prospective readers.

I see plenty of promotions outside for houses, cars, trips and cash. I see Sudoku puzzles, CDs, DVDs, pins and stickers – being pushed by newspapers. But nothing promoting the quality and coverage of news.

I wonder about the impact of all this non news on the masthead. Surely it must be confusing consumers. The time newspaper customers become the most animated, except when their home delivered paper has been missed, is when there is a new competition or a coupon to clip for a sticker or pin. They like the games and I guess that’s why the publishers keep them coming.

It’s not about the news. But then again nor is their supply chain any more. Just as content has morphed from news to entertainment (for some newspapers) the supply chain has been moved from the specialists (newsagents) to all and sundry.

A few weeks ago I moaned here about the Sudoku craze and how it had overtaken newspapers. And it had. BUT, it’s spawned a new segment in the crossword niche. We have five Sudoku titles all traveling well and they’re generating new business. I don’t mind that.

I guess I long for well spent and successful effort in getting people reading newspapers for news again. Oh well, one can long I guess.

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