Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Is this what we can expect?
The Washington Post has introduced its new tabloid geared towards the 18 to 34 year olds and commuters. The Express as it is called is best described as a daily tabloid with condensed news, made up from wire reports and retreads. Jack Shafer at Slate called it "The Washington Post Lite." In Shafer's article he described how the local Alt weekly's satirical issue the created in response to the Express call "Expresso." The satirical issue had as its cover lead "For those who will not read, we salute you!" This was obviously a slam on the Express's format of condensed news, a McNews style.

Is this a sign of what the Enquirer's Weekly will be like? Will it be just recycled Gannett News Service articles cut down to 400 words or less? I hope this is not what they have in mind. I hope they make it worth reading, not just worth browsing. I fear that the Washington Post model is what the business side of the Enquirer has in mind to help build up revenues. If this is all that the Enquirer's Weekly is going to be, then editorially CityBeat will have nothing to fear in the battle of quality. However, in the marketing game the Enquirer may be able to tap into the mass audience's laziness and ignorance. McDonald's, after all, has a boatload of customers, just not the quality worthy of a good meal.

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