In the tradition of the Cecil Whig’s editorial page, where the daily gives a thumbs up or a thumbs down to matters that have their attention, Someone Noticed has decided to award a thumbs up. To give readers an idea of how this works, the daily paper gave a thumbs up to news that the decline of honeybee colonies has slowed slightly and a thumbs down to “Friday’s traffic glut on Cecil streets and roads.”
Here’s ours. We picked up a copy of the new Mariner, a Chesapeake Publishing print product for boaters. While casually paging through the May 22 issue, we noticed that the new editor is Dan Meadows so we took a few minutes to read his opening column, “Blast From the Past.” When he said “. . . It’s all designed to bring you the best, most interesting, most informative read that we can produce. After all, we’re only here because of you our readers and the advertisers who support us in these very pages,” we liked that talk.
Content publishers need to provide copy that is interesting and informative and that will cause people to read the product. If they read it, the advertisements have value, which is what the market is all about. If they are infomercials, readers are likely to skip over the pages contining paid ads. The job of a publisher is to deliver a commodity called readers in large numbers so those advertisements are seen. If publishers take care of providing sought after content, they will be addressing one significant part of their problem. If they pull back on content or fail to publish important news, they will see a decline. Thus we’re glad to see the comments from Editor Meadows and we suspect that if he is able to adhere to that formula he’ll have a sought after medium for advertising.
We wonder if the editor could share some of his market insights with the publishers (that knowledge seems to be in short supply) so they could apply it to our daily paper? The Whig has always been important to us, but in recent years as the publishers stopped investing in the editorial department and accelerated the trend recently, its reached the point to where we’re growing indifferent to the morning paper. If they aren’t going to get out and covering the deeper issues in the community, it doesn’t have much value for us. We get the important police and fire news off the AP wires and the Baltimore television stations, long the paper lands on our doorstep in the morning.
Whatever the case, Someone Noticed gives Editor Meadows a thumbs up for recognizing that content matters. People want quality reading material and the providers of real copy will be able to make it through these challenging times. But if coverage declines it’s a downward spiral. We, of course, recognize that there’s more complexity to the problem such as technology and the economy, but look after the parts you can control. Oh be a little fiesty with your coverage, pay lots of attention to politics and local government and ask challenging questions of politicians. Don’t just help them with their press releases for they have professionals on the payroll to take care of that. That’s the formula that will help in this economy. Oh leverage the web fully.