The End is Nigh?

July 6, 2011 5:58 pm

Is social media to blame for  the decline in quality of newspaper content?

Have you noticed that something is happening with our newspapers?


We’re not talking about the increasing reliance on social media for sources or the changing landscape for paid online news content. Rather, the issue is the apathy running through the traditional printed media – almost as if there is an acceptance that the end is nigh. And it’s manifesting itself in the fact that broadsheets both at home and abroad are running stories that… well, aren’t really stories at all.

People expect a certain amount of fluff from the tabloids – sensationalist headlines, paparazzi shots, tacky, tawdry tell-alls. But when you pick up a broadsheet like the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age (or, more likely, look at the online versions), you expect to read content with a little more substance.

Instead, you get articles headlined ‘Potter Star’s Alcohol Battle’, revealing that Daniel Radcliffe admitted in an interview with GQ Magazine that once he turned 18 he developed a taste for alcohol. Shock horror! He then quickly realised the error of his ways (after never once being caught in a compromising position on camera) and now doesn’t drink. He is 21.

Let’s just sum up the most significant points of the article, shall we? Child star turns 18. Drinks and parties with his friends. Decides he likes sitting at home better. Stops drinking. The end.

It’s bad enough when we see headlines featuring Miley Cyrus or Lindsay Lohan non-compos mentis, but at least they’ve got a slew of sleazy photos, drink-driving convictions and substance abuse issues to back up their ‘troubled teen’ images. Poor Dan doesn’t really have the street cred, when it comes down to it.

Content losing its lustre

The article isn’t even based on a direct interview with the Harry Potter star, but on a story in the UK Daily Telegraph (a broadsheet, by the way), which had cobbled together a few quotes from the original article as it appeared in GQ. All of which represents a poorly disguised attempt to jump on the bandwagon that is the impending release of the final Harry Potter film – from two newspapers that rather self-righteously boast of their commitment to ‘quality’.


Another example of journalism that would make Woodward and Bernstein shudder appeared on the SMH website recently, but at least there was a deep-throat involved: one Joey Chestnut, who retained his world record over the weekend by putting away an impressive 62 hot dogs at New York’s Coney Island. Thank god we had people on the front line to report it.

So why is this happening? Is it confirmation that we really do live in a superficial society where style is more important than substance? Is it a case of journalists throwing up their hands in the face of ubiquitous citizen journalism? Do they have insider knowledge that the whole industry is about to fall in a heap? Or is the pressure of updating the news four, five and six times a day finally getting to our noble men and women of the press – has quantity taken over from quality when it comes to the content they produce?

And does it even matter?


The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

Image Source: Elizabeth Harmon Blog

Image Source: MySpace



  • Content Marketing News & Views Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective buyers, listening to you from their home, on their way to work, during their lunch break or maybe even at the gym. This is the power of podcasting, and it’s one of the fastest growing and exciting marketing mediums available to businesses in 2017. It’s […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing Features The Power of Personalised Content

    The Power of Personalised Content

    With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories. Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics. When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the […]

    Read more →
  • Features Social Media The Latest Social Media Fails

    The Latest Social Media Fails

    There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings. Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties. When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off. But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand? We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder. Everyone’s Goal: Good […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy. Here’s another one. We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy. The first agent who came […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing How to Make Your Content Actionable

    How to Make Your Content Actionable

    Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you. The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer. So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views The Stupidity of Silence

    The Stupidity of Silence

    It always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.

    Read more →
  • Email Marketing Features What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets can no longer be ignored by email marketers—and there aren’t many more marketers out there doing so. It is a massive part of customer communication and revenue, but do you know just how massive? The following statistics come from all corners of the globe, and from many different industries. While they keep changing everyday, some are quite shocking. Here’s a brief description of everything you need to know about the power of email […]

    Read more →
  • Digital Marketing Features How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand. By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend. […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance. Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far. So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign. Know Your Audience Contrary to the opinion […]

    Read more →