Front page news should be just that, on the front page! I sometimes think of these wrap-around ads as a foreskin, and I imagine many people are treating it as such by ripping it off and throwing it away.
My local daily newspaper, Montreal’s The Gazette, was founded in 1778 and has, over the years, seen and told much. But like many papers it is now feeling the pinch of the current generation’s love of all things electronic. The hard copy newspaper seems to be heading toward extinction with every new tablet or smart phone introduced to the ravenous gadget consumers who line up in anticipation of the latest “must have” item release.
Personally I’m fond of both hard and soft versions of my newspaper, but will admit that if the crossword puzzles were interactive, I could see myself going 100% iPad. They say newspapers live and die by advertising revenue. Subscriptions and individual copy purchases help, but they don’t even come close to covering the costs let alone a profit. But advertisers will only advertise if they get reasonable bang for their buck, so declining circulation is a killer.
One thing The Gazette has started doing lately is adding a full four-page wrap-around advertisement that covers the front and back of the paper; providing a ‘false’ front page. Rolex watches are often featured in these ads which I imagine cost a significant amount, given their size and prominent front page placement. There’s another version that has a truncated front that covers only half of the actual front page. To the hard copy reader this little device is most annoying. It can be misleading as part of the real front page is visible and often the ad is worked into the front page graphics. Front page news should be just that, on the front page! I sometimes think of these wrap-around ads as a foreskin, and I imagine many people are treating it as such by ripping it off and throwing it away.
My newspaper needs a Mohel!
Front page news used to be a big deal – I know there is a front page under the ad (is that an oxymoron or what?) but if newspapers really want to keep readers subscribing to the hard copy so they can keep advertisers happy they should stop screwing with the front page.