What do readers want?

An interesting piece (speech actually) via The Hoot from Outlook India’s editor Vinod Mehta.

Do readers know what they want?:

There is one more critical challenge, one that is rarely discussed in journalism seminars or among serious editors. But I notice advertising managers and self-styled media pundits pontificate on it endlessly — and they have by now signed and sealed the argument. …

Their words are written on tablets of stone. And what is their subject? It is the nature of editorial content in television and print. They have come to the considered conclusion that the highest responsibility of the media is to give the reader or the viewer what he or she wants.

Any other kind of journalism is irrelevant, indeed an insult to the public!

The reader is a paradox. He frequently complains about negative news being constantly reported. But for all his clamouring for positive news, surveys show that people are more interested in negative news, sensational news, news about crime, violence and corruption. The reader, ladies and gentlemen, is not king; actually he is a nice hypocrite.

That’s why I don’t ask readers what they want, I force-feed them my blog posts. Seriously though, Vinod Mehta’s speech is an interesting take on the media in India and his experiences. We need good journalists and editors, those with integrity and courage to play the important role that the press has in a free society.

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5 thoughts on “What do readers want?

  1. With the media literally at war, most of them try to “sensationalize” events, rather than delivering the actual news. I guess you know what I mean.

  2. Pingback: Pages tagged "society"

  3. Pingback: Advertisement » Blog Archive » What do readers want?

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