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The Daily Mail.
A newspaper that celebrates quality, balanced journalism.
A newspaper focused – and committed – to report on the issues that matter for their readers.
Or so they claim.
OK, so I admit they have broken some major stories in their time.
Stories that needed to be told but required major investigative journalism to be revealed.
Which makes it all the more sad they also have told stories like this – possibly the most pointless news story of all time.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a journalist there.
A journalist that actually studied the craft rather than got where they are because they posted some weird shit online a few times.
They must feel similar to someone who studied robotic engineering for 10 years in a bid to one day work at NASA and explore the Universe only to end up in the R&D department of a consumer products company where they spend their days creating crappy pretend-robot toys that are bought by 40+, sad bastard, men.
But I digress.
So a while back – for reasons unknown – the powers-that-be at the Daily Mail decided to show the World they could scrape the barrel of news journalism to a whole new level. Or should I say depth.
For a couple of weeks – amongst all the stories of the Kardashian’s or the prejudiced bullshit they like to propagate – they ran some stories about people or animals that looked like people or animals from cartoons, regardless of the fact that:
1. They didn’t.
2. Who the fuck cares.
OK, maybe 5 year olds … but seriously, what the hell were they thinking?
Fortunately they seemed to stop, no doubt acknowledging the damage it was doing to their credibility, let alone internal morale … and then, just when you thought sanity had prevailed, they put out this.
Yes, a cat who they say resemble Tom Selleck from his Magnum PI days … a TV show that stopped in 1988.
1988 … TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO.
At a push, I could just about see why putting Disney look-a-likes in the paper could work … maybe a Mum or Dad would show it their kid in a bid to get them interested in the news [OK, I know that’s bollocks, but I’m trying] … but to put a picture of a cat that looks NOTHING like a television actor who last appeared in a show almost THREE DECADES ago, is insane.
Daily Mail, just admit you don’t give a damn about news.
Go on, do it.
Your goal is to be an ad revenue hub, where you role is to get as many audience numbers – regardless how superficial – as you can so you can sell them to brands and media agencies who claim to seek efficient, targeted, relevant and resonant channels for communication, but would sell their grandmothers lung for 10% more audience reach.
I appreciate publishing is in a terrible position.
I appreciate you have thousands of people in your employment that need a monthly salary.
I’m not knocking any of that.
But do you honestly think you can ever do a serious story again now the population of the planet views you – especially your online offering – as as the British equivalent of Buzzfeed?
Maybe the powers-that-be should have refered to Newton’s 3rd law before undertaking this ‘downmarket strategy’ … for every action there’s a reaction.
But maybe the powers-that-be only care about what happens while they’re there, because – like many brand managers and politicians – they know once they leave in a couple of years, it will be somebody else’s problem.
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