News on the Go

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Despite advertising and circulation woes, newspapers found out some good news last week when Pew Research Center revealed a survey that indicated good news from those who read their news via their tablets.

Although most readers are still unwilling to pay for news, those who use news applications are much more likely to pay for content than those who get their news from a browser. 27 percent of "mainly app users" have paid for news, while only 5 percet of "browser users" have.

Those who use apps are "power users," showing that they are more likely to read more news more often and also pay for the news.

The survey, which included 1,159 tablet users, also found that tablet users are getting news from sources that they did not previously read. 40 percent of responders said that they are reading different newspapers than before they had a tablet. USA Today and CNN were the top new sources.

As newspapers continue to rely more on tablet readership, they need to target these readers, especially the "power users." By enhancing the effectiveness and quality of the news apps and by allowing some free content, more readers will likely make the jump to app reading.

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Holiday Clichés Should Stay out of Headlines

The holidays are around the corner but the typical Christmas clichés in the headlines such as "'tis the season" should stay out of the headlines.

"Chestnuts roasting by an open fire are fine, but they should be kept out of copy and headlines," cautions master copy desk chief John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun.

In his article titled The Holiday Cautions McIntyre lists off some of the typical holiday sayings that should not make it to the headlines.

"'’Twas the night before' anything: 'Twasing is no more defensible than ’tising," says McIntyre. "And if you must refer to the Rev. Mr. Moore's poem, if indeed he wrote it, the proper title is 'A Visit from St. Nicholas.'"

McIntyre also puts a halt to the Grinch stealing anything. When a house is robbed or any Christmas related items are stolen, "Grinch steals" needs to remain out of the headline.

Some of the other clichés he mentions in his article to not use are any "Yes, Virginia" allusions, and he states "Any 'Christmas came early' construction is right out."

The parodies of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" are a no go, and anything that has bah or humbug needs to be deleted.

These sayings offer what seem to be creative headlines for the holiday season, but instead they are overused or do not resonate with the reader.


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