Newspapers Fail When They Don’t Contain News

Newspapers Fail When They Don't Contain News

Hey, here’s an idea. What if newspapers actually contained real news?

Recently, I grabbed the USA Today as I often do while on the road (in this case, in Nashville Tennessee for the Marketing United conference) I get most of my news online (as you probably do as well). But I still read a newspaper every single day. I’ve read a newspaper pretty much every day of my entire life. I know that makes me hopelessly old school. But I was originally a journalism major in the days before computers, and old habits die hard.

When I’m traveling, of course, I typically get the USA Today because it’s readily available in airports and hotels and venues of that sort. It says right on the masthead that it is the nation’s news.

IMG_5843 (1)Here’s what the nation’s news had to say recently, on a day when there were a lot of issues going on around the world — Ukraine, the Nepal earthquake and all kinds of other things. The headline of the LIFE section is “Which is your favorite Avenger?” Also,  “If your life was at risk, which Avenger would you want to come to your rescue?” Fully half of the first page of the LIFE section of the nation’s news was devoted to this topic. Seriously?

Did we forget the News in Newspaper?

Look, I know USA Today is light-hearted fun and all that. But we’re devoting half a page on which Avenger you would want to come save you? Let me just point something out. These are fictional characters. This is not an actual scenario. Instead, how about “Which aid organization would you like to come to your rescue if you’ve been in an earthquake in Nepal?”

I understand that we celebrate the celebrity culture. I understand that big movies are a happening in this country. But this is a newspaper that has the balls to say they’re the nation’s news on the front page and then waste this much ink on that kind of topic.

Is this Native Advertising gone crazy?

At first, I thought maybe this was some kind of sophisticated native advertising program. I had to actually think for a second. “Wait does Gannett own Disney, or does Disney own Gannett? Or does Marvel Studios somehow own a piece of USA Today or vice versa?” I had to untangle the corporate knot and realize that no, there is no cross ownership here. There’s no actual money at stake as far as I know. It’s just that the USA Today believes that this is the most important thing going on even in the LIFE Section.

How come newspapers aren’t making money? I don’t know. Maybe because there’s no more news in the paper.

Sprout Social Shoutout

vNHjYH2D_400x400Today’s Sprout Social Shoutout is for my friend, Mr. C.C. Chapman. Fantastic guy. I love C.C. He does lots of non-profit work all around the world. Terrific photographer, terrific blogger, terrific author, great in social media. If you’re not following C.C. Chapman, make sure you take care of that right now.

This video is f01-sprout-social-logo-MAINrom Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at JayToday.tv. candidio_logo@2x The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service).

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