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October 15 2010

10:20

WHY WOMEN DON’T READ MACHO NEWSPAPERS

This cartoon is not funny.

Published today by The Times of London in a column explaining why the British paper has decided to make again T2 as a separate section.

Perfect:

Hard news and main section for the lord of the house.

Soft news in the trashy T2 section for the lady of the house.

A macho and ghetto approach that explains why many editors and publisher don’t get it.

Go to the streets.

Go the offices.

Go to the stadiums.

Go to the universities.

…or just look inside your own newsrooms.

Women and men sharing the same spaces, jobs, sports, education and interests.

But our macho newspapers don’t get it.

So good luck if you alienate 50% of your potential readers!

This cartoon is a perfect example of a reality that doesn’t exist anymore.

Breakfast together?

Reading the newspaper?

The only real thing is that the readers of these macho newspapers are as old as the people shown in the cartoon.

And, you know?, they will die with them.

October 14 2010

09:19

THE TIMES OF LONDON: 14 PAGES DEVOTED TO THE CHILEAN MINERS RESCUE OPERATION

This must be another record.

Cover, leading ditorial, 10 page-special and two page feature in the T2 section.

Total: 14 pages!

The package is a busy one, and this double spread with photos is just an example.

A first class analysis from Ben Macintyre plus a lot of trivia, more photos and at the end you have the feeling that they wanted to do what The Sun does very well in the so call “earthquake journalism” but The Times doesn’t do as well.

So, again, “if you cannot play well, at least play loud”

October 13 2010

14:14

SECOND SECTIONS NEVER WERE GOOD, AND THE T2 IS AN EXAMPLE

The Times editor writes today:

Dear Reader,

As you will have noticed from this morning’s paper, Times2 is back. It returns, bigger and better.

When we introduced our new daily sections earlier this year, many readers wrote to say how much they loved the greater coverage of food, fashion, health and the arts. Many others were thrilled at the introduction of Mind Games, offering more brain-aching Su Doku and more infuriating puzzles than ever before.

But many of you wrote to say how sorely you missed the second section. Letters came in saying how much you loved The Times’s distinctive run of features. It was clear how deeply you shared Times2’s passions, its sense of humour, its cares, its intelligence, its campaigning spirit.   And, even though Times2 had simply moved to a new home, many of you felt a loss. It was obvious how much you relied on a separate section for the TV and radio listings, as well as a smart guide to film, music, theatre, dance and the arts. And, most of all, you missed having a paper that you could share: The Times, in two parts – or, as one person put it, two papers for the price of one.

Well, he is wrong.

The problem with the T2 section is the content and the design.

Both are really bad.

Content and design are trashy.

That’s the problem, my dear!

“Readers want” is another excuse to change in order to avoid real changes

T2 compared with the trendy and crispy G2 of The Guardian looks like a second class section.

So instead, give me less pages, and a more and better edited newspaper.

A Compact and compelling newspaper.

Work  harder for me (reader and subscriber of The Times) and don’t be bother about focus group “instant miracle solutions”.

Many of these new separate section were created because, we were told, advertisers want it.

Well, the T2 is almost empty of paid ads.

Why?

Because advertisers know better: it’s a poor product.

Integrated or standing alone.

This doesn’t matter.

Good content and brilliant design is what really matters.

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