It’s Mother’s Day 2013 and as auspicious a day as any to discuss newspapers and News Media Marketing. Why? Because newspapers, sometimes chastised for being old and irrelevant – just as mothers worldwide are chastised by their kids – is truly the mother of all media. Just like mothers worldwide, newspapers continue to serve an important function in helping those they most care about – citizens near and dear frequently called “local” – better understand the world to which they were born, live and must function within.
Unlike mothers – newspapers are not parents and this is likely where (if they’ve gone wrong anywhere) is where they’ve gone wrong. The editing function has been defined as a professional filter where editors pick and choose the stories, their length, and time of arrival. If editors, largely male, were as smart as most mothers, they’d realize:
- You have no control over who your baby is or becomes
- You may have been told a due date, but babes don’t understand deadlines either at birth or anytime thereafter. Just try getting a kid to any practice on time.
- You never have your kids attention. Everyone else is always smarter, hipper, more expert, or just more prestigious to be seen with in public.
- Parental controls don’t work. You can’t edit what people hear and see. You can only hope to stay part of the conversation and add perspective.
If you don’t allow a teen boy to see Penthouse in the house, he’ll most certainly see it outside. Best is if he sees it with a trusted relative or friend who can talk about what is both enticing and degrading about portions of it, and help the boy to verbalize his own feelings about sexuality.It’s not the initial viewing that matters. It’s the ensuring conversation.
Years ago,newspapers were the original social media allowing readers to write in to discuss views and concerns. Unfortunately, some editors along the way, decided it should be a one-way conversation. We print the news. You respond, and we don’t respond back. If others respond back, great, but we won’t comment back even on our own commentary.
Editors love to hang their hats on objectivity. Take another lesson from mothers. Great mothers are never objective.They care too much, have distinct point of view, and are shamelessly prejudiced about their flock. They will fight to the death to protect their own, and work like demons to help them progress. If they chastise and punish, it is generally in private, although a good lesson in public is not out of the question. But, you don’t embarrass in public for embarrassment sake. That only serves to turn family members more inward, and drive them away.
Here’s what every mother wants – families who grow up happy, healthy and successful well into old age. Hopefully mothers get to see their children grow old, and stay around long enough to see the next one or two generations also make an appearance. And, every mother knows sometimes you need the previous generation to help bridge the gaps and fill in because age does bring wisdom and perspective.
As newspapers become the grandmothers of all media, we still have a great function to fulfill. Relevance is not the issue. Communication and caring to be a part of everyone’s lives is what keeps us in the game.