You are not the READER… and 5 other commandments of journalism

April 25, 2007

I just gave a keynote speech at the Finnish Periodical Publishers Association in Helsinki. The title of my speech was “Are magazines relevant in tomorrow’s marketplace?” The simple answer for the question was YES. The more detailed presentation followed this outline: 1. Journalists and reporters are not the readers. 2. Journalist should remain in charge in order to create Good Relevant Content to a Relevant Audience via the Relevant Medium. 3. Each and every member of your society may become your freelance informer, but he or she is NOT the trained expert or journalist. 4. The Smart One Shop Stop media company will be involved in all media, yet they have to provide different content in different departments (you do not want to buy your dress from the cafeteria in the store, although both items are in the store). 5. Good Content will remain King and Queen, based on four basic elements: good reporting, good writing, good editing and a good sense of news judgment, regardless of the medium. 6. Good design will help Good content, but Good design will NEVER help BAD content. In short, focus on the readers’ needs, wants and desires and not on your colleagues’ view of you or on the awards you may win for your work.

One comment

  1. A sensible and encouraging take on the current situation. I like the dress/cafeteria example, especially given the etymology of “magazine”.

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