Their Target Audiences

Burning NewspaperThere’s a fair amount of discussion lately about how the internet has supplanted printed media as a news medium and how this is affecting newspapers across America.

There’s also been discussion about these newspapers moving to “paywall models” for their digital content. Whether or not such schemes will allow any individual newspaper to survive is, I believe, more upon who their target audience is than upon any other factor or or factors.

So who reads which newspapers?

  1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
  2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
  3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.
  4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.
  5. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a poor job of it, thank you very much.
  6. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country and don’t really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
  7. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.
  8. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country, but need the baseball scores.
  9. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.
  10. The Seattle Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.
  11. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could find the time from indoor tanning, teeth whitening, and botox – and if they didn’t have to leave Southern California to do it.
  12. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped people-of-color feminist gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy — provided of course, that they are not Republicans.

NOTE: Variants of this list / joke have been circulating since at least 2005 but this version came from Fellowship of the Minds.

So which group, if any, do you think will find paying for a digital subscription to their newspaper to be of value? The movers and shakers,the would-be movers and shakers, the Frustrati, or the prurient masses seeking enjoyment through Schadenfreude?

Personally I think the newspaper, such as it is, with by far the best chance of having a salable digital market is The National Enquirer. It has a large consumer base, none of which want to be seen purchasing it! 😉

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