Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The path to profitability for Canadian newspapers

I have heard lots of moaning from newspaper publishers about how tough times are and how they are losing money hand over fist because no one buys their papers.  There are people handing out free newspapers in the morning.  They have a harder time getting rid of these things then they do Coyote tickets in Phoenix.  There is a solution staring them in the face.

Politics sells.  But not about reorganizations within the OLO.  Scandals sell.  Not Page 3 Sunshine Girls.  Political scandals.  Stuff people actually care about.  Like this.
The federal transport minister's office privately pleaded with Canada's big airlines to step up their lobby campaign to kill a proposed passenger bill of rights even as the minister publicly rallied behind the popular initiative, according to internal documents obtained by Canwest News Service.

This is the type of story that will, if you have the reputation for publishing it, sell papers or bring people to your website.  But I couldn't find this on any of the ones I looked at.

Perhaps negative stories about the Conservatives get spiked by editors following the dictates of their corporate owners.  The realities of the financial losses will force them to back you.

Maybe you are concerned that under the rigid message control of the Harper government you might get blackballed by Soudas.  Big deal.  Transcribing PMO press releases in an attempt to find a fictitious balance hasn't sold you any papers.  Print the story.  Let the PMO know that you will be waiting in the foyer with the other reporters ready to scrum.  If he is too much of a coward to face the media, report that.  Prominently.

Notwithstanding the piano man moment, no one but the whacko minority likes this guy.  Give people a chance to get angry at his government for being two faced and they will jump at it.  But be prepared.  Buy newsprint and ink futures.  You wouldn't want to run out.
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