Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Could non-stories be the saviour of newspapers?
This non-story from the Salisbury Journal has been doing the rounds with indignant journalists gleefully - and with some justification - covering it in scorn. Even Dara O'Briain Tweeted the tale. But as the Journal points out, 130,000 people logged on to the story on Monday. Indeed the Journal wonders whether the tale breaks the record for page impressions per word anywhere on the web. And in this upside down world where media companies are obsessed by hits on the website and driving digital audiences, there is method in the Journal's madness. It will be the bizarre, the offbeat, the mistakes, the funnies and the downright bad that will get the biggest followings. We might have to write it into our training courses for young journalists - bring in at least one non-story a day. And it is definitely catching on. Here's a shocking story about a woman who couldn't find any custard powder in her local shops and another from last year on the Kidderminster mattress drama. If you have any non-stories to match them, please share.