Monday, December 13, 2004

Two days? I can solve this problem in two minutes flat

Ma'ariv / NRG is reporting that Ha'aretz is holding a two-day conference for senior management in order to work out how to stop its readership falling any further. (Why doesn't Ma'ariv have any figures on this??). Not surprisingly, the paper concluded that it had trouble appealing to the younger generation. Amongst the options being considered is turning to tabloid -- a move which several broadsheets have executed successfully recently in the UK, although not without a price:
The Independent is becoming increasingly dependent on tabloid-style splashes on its cover, with recent high-drama headlines about the MRSA hospital superbug and the one billion children at risk from war, poverty and hunger.
Meanwhile, The Times was criticised by The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade on the BBC’s Culture Show this week for softening its journalism.
Can Ha'aretz really afford to soften its own style of journalism? Surely not; that is half of its appeal and uniqueness.
Clearly, the editors are simply in denial over the fact that there's only one solution: Moving towards the Center. The fact is, Ha'aretz's natural readership base has moved en masse rightwards over the past few years; the Left, which was the core readership of Ha'aretz, practically doesn't exist any more. If the paper doesn't move with them, it shouldn't be surprised if readership slides.

No comments: