Soon,if some saner heads don’t prevail, Sherbrooke will have only one newspaper left. No, the Record is not folding; it’s the French daily La Tribune that will soon disappear! In print, to be somewhat replaced by a tab on LaPresse +, the noble experiment in suicide that the owners are going through right now.
Luckily, most of you don’t watch much French television or listen to radio in French. For the last year, those who do have been bombarded with ads, all saying that those who buy the print copy of LaPresse and the other newspaper of the chain were dumb to fork over their money when the electronic edition of the flagship newspaper was available for free, early in the morning, being downloaded to your tablet, the IPad first and for the last couple of weeks, on Android. In the former case, not all tablets are supported.
Mind you, you will get an enhanced experience, with flying graphics, sure winners in any Newspaper of the year digital category. News? That’s the real and honest question. In what business are we in? Is it content? That faddish fad expression that is no longer in vogue after being used for years. Convergence? The magical thinking that if you had a newspaper, a television station, a radio station, suddenly they would all merge together into a single channel, a ‘portal’ to a new world of information.
Advertisers, who must rely on data, are not so kind about spending their clients’ money on the web. Sure, if they know that you are in the market to buy a car, are able to spirit the geographic data of your cell phone legally by having you install an app that shows where you are all the time, that said data showing that you pass in front of a dealership daily, then they will gladly pay for an ad. It’s George Orwell’s 1984, but 30 years late.
You see, dear readers, this has been going on for years, back in the last century when a young George Gallup teamed up with David Ogilvy. Gallup invented the polling and survey business and Ogilvy is considered the father of modern advertising. If you watch Mad Men, you will see a lot of the world of Ogilvy when his agency was in its heyday. So, if an advertiser puts an ad in a newspaper, he can measure the return of his expense. Same in television, radio, billboard. Everything can be measured.
Still, advertising agencies, always at the vanguard of trendiness, are shying away from web advertising. Yes, they spend more, as they should and did when radio and television came along, but not to the extent that they should according to the pundits. The top 10 news sites are all bleeding money by the way. Don’t even think of the next 90 and forget about the others.
So soon, if you want to have news in the Townships, you will have to do so in English.