Sign of the Times: How To Save Print Media


Newspapers and magazines really are in a sorry state. With publications closing left, right and centre and no one being able to understand the New York Times, it seems that print media outlets are having to come up with gimmicky ploys to keep the pundits reading. This week, the Guardian invited an 8-year-old to come and edit their G2 section, and last Wednesday Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz ditched their regular writers in exchange for Israel’s finest authors and poets, who covered that day’s news. Even British Vogue is not immune, with editrix Alexandra Shulman writing an open letter about ridiculously small sample sizes in a move that is being characterized as a bid for publicity. Intrigued by these developments, we tried to think up our own ingenious tricks to keep publications in print.

1. Make Every Title A Pun Day

This is a practice already adopted by British tabloid the Sun, often with hilarious results. We’d like to see some of the more serious papers try their hand at this. Can you imagine the NYT or the Washington Post leading with the fantastic weekend headline from the New York Post, Bagels and Locks?

2. Free Gifts that Relate To Today’s News

Shelling out for a print copy of what could otherwise be read online requires an incentive beyond enjoying the physical experience of reading. We suggest papers, in a bid to make certain news stories more accessible and tangible, give away gifts relating to the headlines. How about a recreation of a traditional Iranian headscarf, to highlight the dispute over the election?A Gordon Brown punchbag to relieve political stress and work out simultaneously? We predict a major increase in circulation.

3. Txt Spk Nws

Sometimes the complexities and long, fanciful words of newspaper journalism are too much for our time-poor minds. Newspapers written in text speak would not only allow news to be accessed and absorbed at breakneck speed, they would doubtless give birth to some wonderful new acronyms: NoKo: No Nclr Wpns perhaps?

4. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Let’s put this old adage to the test, and see if the papers really can relate the day’s news stories without one word of explanation. Not only could this lead to a helpful comic-strip style editing process, but editors could save money by firing all those pesky writers.

Got any novel ideas of your own? You can be sure that old man Murdoch would be glad to hear them.