A good reader sent me this link to some horrible creation called the Readership Insitute about how Sun-Sentinel Earl Maucker has become a leader in building something called "readership" (apparently it's not tied to circulation, since that has steadily been going down).
Horrifically, the Institute summarizes Maucker's "presentation on how to bridge the gap between editorial and marketing." Bridge the gap? I thought there was supposed to be a goddamn wall up between the two. But it gets even better with Maucker's corporatese-laden "10 principles that have ignited readership growth."
It's hilarious. For instance, the first "principle" is "Deliver exclusive, high impact, locally relevant content in optimal formats for each of our media." To illustrate this babbling brook of bullshit, Maucker points to a post-Wilma story headlined: "You're Going To Wait." It provides, no shit, tips on "how to cope with the long waits for repairs."
That's the apex of journalism for Maucker. A story that can be summarized thusly: "Read a fucking book."
But how about No.2 (literally): "Connect with consumers through people-oriented stories that view the world through their eyes and provide rewarding experiences." Okay, you're going to think I'm joking again, but Maucker's example of a "people-oriented" story that provides rewarding experiences? It's a damn
TV story on the front page headlined: "Ladies and gentlemen, start your Tivos" that highlighs "American Idol" "Dancing With The Stars."
The third principle: "Help consumers with the personally useful, "you-focused" information that enables them to navigate their daily lives." Key word: Help. As in Help Team. As in the death of journalism.
Moving on to No. 9: "Combat perceptions of bias that are inhibiting consumers, in part by building a staff with diverse voices and backgrounds." As a, um, token of Maucker's appreciation for his own minority staffers, he included mug shots of five of them, including Rod Hagwood, Sherri Winston, and Ralph da la Cruz.
I could go on here but I don't have time at the moment. This amazing find (yes, it's so good I've linked it twice) may be fodder for another post or two, though.