Marketing Journalism

I’ve posted about USA Today before, so I don’t need to come out again and say I don’t think it’s the highest quality newspaper we have in the U.S. (But I will anyway.)

And just so we’re clear: I’m not a USA Today hater. Their iPhone app still rocks for how easy it makes news and story sharing.

But I just have to say something about their latest marketing effort. As summarized in the trade publication Editor and Publisher last week, the newspaper is pitching itself to readers as being about “what America wants.”

The intent is to refer to the paper’s broad distribution. See for instance how Starbucks decided to bring it back into it’s cafes due to demand .

But the new creative leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Sensationalist “news” rags should give America what it wants. Sports journalism should give America what it wants. Entertainment journalism: ditto.

But “news” papers owe it to their readers to research. Interview. And report. Regardless of whether or not the outcome is something we wanted to hear.

In the latter instance, perhaps it’s up to us to do something about it.

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