9 Nov 2007

Pie in the face communication

At a time when newspapers are struggling to attract and retain readers, comic-news channels like The Onion are gaining in popularity.

Despite the fact that most of the media channels in the US are losing popularity, The Onion, a satirical, pseudo-news outlet in the US recently had a 60 percent increase in its print circulation. Its online edition reaches 2 million readers per week. The reason behind its trend-bucking popularity, says columnist Greg Beato, is brutal honesty.

In an interview with NPR, Beato explains that The Onion and other comic-news outlets like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are offering something that traditional news channels do not – attitude. Sweden has recently received its own version of The Onion, Faktumé, and those that I have spoken with find it hilarious and highly informative.

Despite these positive developments, for most of us working with communication, getting information out with more attitude could still be an uphill battle.

Swedish courts recently found a TV-journalist guilty of harassment after she sprayed the prime minister with water pumped through a microphone (ironically the interview was for one of the state-run TV channels). In the corporate world too there will always be the nay-saying marketer who balks at the idea of telling a story with more color and edge.

But charge on free-thinkers. Communication does not have to be cold and lifeless. It actually could be a little bit fun.


1 comment:

Anamma blog team said...

A few days after I posted this piece, the not-for-profit Adoption Center in Sweden filed a complaint with the police after a "reporter" from TV4's equivalent to Hidden Camera posed as a fake parent wishing to return their adopted child.

This is not what I had in mind when I argued for more color and attitude in news reporting and communication. This was just a bad idea from the start and TV4 should be ashamed and held fully responsible.

You can read the more about this debacle on the Adoption Centers homepage: www.adoptionscentrum.se.