London Standard is Sorry, Whilst Boston Globe is on the Brink

6 05 2009

The London Evening Standard is saying sorry to Londoners for being negative, losing touch and taking them for granted.

The apology is part of an advertising campaign launched in response to market research, commissioned by the newspaper’s new editor, Geordie Greig. The research found that the paper was seen as negative and didn’t fit with the needs of Londoners.  With a new editor and a new owner it is unsurprising that the newspaper wants to grab some media limelight.  It may even be sincere but it is missing the point.  We consumers don’t mind a bit of negativity – Charlie Brooker’s huge fan base is a testament to that. 

The part of the research that is important is the fact that the paper no longer meets the need of the people and the city.  More particularly many of these needs are being met elsewhere.  Why look up the restaurant pages when Urbanspoon on your iPod will provide location based prices and reviews for restaurants close to where you are standing.

Boston is a city of 4.5 million people.  Its biggest paper the Boston Globe has been teetering on the brink of collapse this week.  In the early hours of this morning the New York Times company which owns the Globe reached tentative a deal with the Globe’s largest union, the Guild.  The company had demanded savings of  $10 million a year, and the end of employment guarantees for Guild members.

Whether the Globe will live to fight another day is uncertain.  What is for sure is that regional and city newspapers around the world are in decline.  Saying sorry might not be enough.

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