Monday, 20 August 2007

Readers smeaders

In the Sunday Sun, Toronto Sun Editor Rob Granatstein defended the use of a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey photo on the front page of the tabloid in the middle of summer.

Irate readers wondered why a Toronto Maple Leafs photo and not a photo reflecting a more important news story?

Rob quoted Mike Burke-Gaffney, the Sun's managing editor, as saying: "We make no apologies (for the hockey photo.) It was truly one of the slowest news days of the year."

On Monday, the Sun's front page photo was of the Rogers Cup winner, which was also the front page colour photo for the pullout sports section.

Another quiet news day? Not.

Jamaica was ravaged by Hurricane Dean; another Canadian soldier was killed in Afghanistan; there was a huge demonstration on Parliament Hill protesting George W's security summit visit.

So why a tennis photo after a not-so-slow news day, with a killer hurricane, a dead Canadian soldier and a huge anti-Bush protest?

The reality is Quebecor's world is focused on sports and entertainment, not news. The Sun's allotted news space is quickly being devoured by Internet info, gadgets and Hollywood fluff.

Full news coverage on all fronts has clearly become optional.

The Toronto Sun has become more confrontational in dealing with the complaints of readers since Quebecor bought Sun Media in 1999.

While readers were once on a pedestal, catered to and told their feedback was welcomed and appreciated, the "new" Sun does not have the same respect for readers.

The unique Sun one-liners below letters to the editor, which were once witty and whimsical, are now often confrontational and dismissive.

Readers, smeaders.

Using a tennis photo today instead of a news-related photo on a busy news day is just another slap in the face.

Circulation figures show readers wanting more news from their newspapers and a little more respect are switching to the rejuvenated Toronto Star and Globe and Mail.

That doesn't bode well for the remaining and ever-shrinking Sun newsroom staff.

No comments:

Post a Comment