RRJ Blog logo

Stop the presses! There is an answer to our print newspaper problem! According to Michael Kinsley of The Atlantic the reason why people are not reading newspapers is because the stories are too long. He writes in a recent issue that dwindling readership “has nothing directly to do with technology,” but that the articles are too long-winded and fancy.

He points to a story in the The New York Times from Nov. 8, 2009. A sentence reads: “Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday night, advancing legislation that Democrats said could stand as their defining social policy achievement.” Kinsley instead suggests that the article should be written more casually, like when speaking with friends. His editorial changes are as follows: You would say, “The House passed health-care reform last night…It was a close vote…there was a kerfuffle about abortion.” I don’t know about his friends, but I probably wouldn’t say kerfuffle.

And wait, aren’t there those television news programs that are 30-second versions of the day’s top news stories, written in casual speak for everyday viewers? I thought people read newspapers because they wanted something more than information off a news wire. I thought people read newspapers because they appreciate the analysis and logical organization a journalist can provide. I thought there are those other things called blogs that people go to for a quick dose of news.

(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)

About the author

Whitney Wager was the Visuals Editor for the Summer 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest stories from our newsroom.