“If we gave the audience what they wanted, they’d ask for crap!” Or “Our audience isn’t very smart, they probably wouldn’t have any good ideas.” Or, the big doozy, and the inspiration for this post, said by a manager during a meeting at a highly respected, hugely award-winning news outlet: “Our audience is a bunch of idiots and assholes. Why exactly would we want to hear more from them than we already do?”
A serious problem the news industry does not talk about
Jennifer Brandel

What does that honestly say about them then?

If their viewership’s supposedly too dumb to understand the news they’re dispersing, then — by that logic — wouldn’t their news be stupid? Or else, how were they suppose to understand it. 🤔😉

Honestly though, two of my biggest gripes with news media organizations these days are:

  1. The “15 minute rule”: Wherein (because of the supposed “cycles”) they spend a limited amount of time covering stories. This includes major disasters, events, or trends. CNN is a guilty offender. They’ll drown you with coverage during that time, but nothing afterwards. As if the topic never happened. No followups, no updates, nothing. And they (generally speaking), wonder why more people are turning to digital (on-demand) media more.
  2. Platform Being “Yahoo’ed”: What I mean by this is we all remember the Internet age during the 90's. A convoluted mess of information located all in one “convenient” front-page. Navigation & Readability be damned. There’s a way to present News Aggregation incorrectly (the AP App), and a way to present it correctly (Apple News).

They should spend less time worrying about how we think — get out of their own ways — and, present the news with the above points in mind. Case in point, when The New Times first ventured all-in on digital, it was a cluster-fuck. Now? They’ve made light-years worth of improvements to their platform (and continue too). It’s easy to navigate, save, read, and share. And yes, I love reading both the print and digital versions.

It ends up being counterproductive because by bombarding you with news in a fixed time, utilizing bad structure, they manage to deter you to tune out due to over-saturation of content. Then, they misread the situation, and try even harder with the aforementioned methods. A vicious “cycle” that will drive more people to curated digital options. Where you can read it:

  • When you want
  • Where you want
  • How you want

But that’s just my 2¢ 😊 I love the article though, truly excellent work/reporting Jennifer Brandel!

— Dharam Raghubir

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