How To Save The News Industry: "Trust"
The McCarville Report:
"The Plight of Newspapers Today" is the topic of discussion on The Verdict this Sunday at 9 a.m. on Cox Channel 7 in Oklahoma City and Cox Channel 3 in Tulsa. Joining hosts Kent Meyers and Mick Cornett are Mary Mélon, publisher of The Journal Record and Ted Streuli, the newspaper's managing editor. The Verdict repeats on Cox 7 in Oklahoma City and Cox 3 in Tulsa on Monday at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m."
I wonder if the subject of "trust" will come up in this discussion. It should.
America doesn't trust the news media and as far as I know, hasn't for a long time if we ever really did at all. In fact, I think "trust" may be their biggest problem.
News outlets have their own political views and they generally hire reporters who share their views, which inevitably comes out in their reporting of news. They can't help it, it's human nature. Try and write a 100% positive glowing report on something you hate. Try and write a hateful negative report on something you love. It's not easy... darned near impossible if you're not really paying attention.
I believe that newspapers and news media outlets are failing because people can pick and choose their news from sources they trust nowadays.
If Newspapers want to succeed, they must start by gaining the trust of a target audience. I have said before at this blog that I believe news outlets and reporters should declare their political leanings right up front.
The NY Times would be required to tell us that it leans so far left it can't see right. I don't care which they pick but pick one, you can't be both. Then I know what I'm buying if I get an issue.
Any so-called "journalist" caught feigning his political alliance is discredited as just that... a phony and a political hack.
Look at Fox News.
They realized there was a market for news that wasn't skewed left since all the other news media outlets are most certainly leftist. "Fair and Balanced" became their slogan and they do present BOTH sides particularly when presenting opinion but as opposed to all other news outlets, with FOX NEWS the guest is the liberal and the hosts are the conservatives.
An openly conservative newspaper will succeed. Trying to be all things to all people won't since you can't be all things to all people.
This is the problem with "unbiased journalism", it is biased, it too is an "ism". Unbiased Journalism is dead and may have never actually been alive as far as I can tell.
So, not to be one who criticizes something without offering a solution...
MEMO To the News Industry:
1- Declare your political leanings so your audience/customers know and trust what they are buying.
2- Develop a strategy to bring a target audience news stories they trust to be accurate and opinion they generally (not always) agree with and find entertaining as well.
3- Market to your target audience(s). Split into two newspapers, (or other outlet) if necessary to provide newsworthy news to liberal and conservative target audiences with separate reporters etc. Take on your competitors by responding to their stories and start a back and forth relationship if possible. (good for both in sales)
4- Report the news and concentrate on telling the truth (accuracy and followup) and find a way to inject some humor in somewhere along the way... in the form of satire or parody and you will sell newspapers and you will attract advertisers, which in the long run may be the most important part.
5- Buy the used newspapers back and recycle them into more newspapers or rags or paper mache' ash trays or something so they don't pile up in the garage and claim you have "gone green".
Who's gonna buy something from someone they don't trust in the first place?