Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Sod local, minor celebrities are the way forward...

Farcical, often-offensive comedy.

Yes, I am talking about regional newspaper bosses and their recent running of the industry we all care so much about.

Yet decisions made by those who have some actual power took perhaps the most surreal turn of all this week, with the announcement of 'comic' Jim Davidson taking on a column in Torquay's Herald Express.

While the jokes make themselves, obviously, a decision such as this really does raise serious questions about what the hell we are all doing here.

In an industry where we are constantly cutting back on local columnists, loved by many readers, to - as we are told - satisfy the desire for "higher story counts"*, what does it say to our faithful when we will happily give over God knows how much space to what many regard as an offensive comedian with no real link to the area**?

The mind boggles.

I'm sure the Herald Express would argue the publicity they have gained will bump up circulation a bit in the first few weeks, but really, is it worth isolating such a large faction of readers for a quick gain?

Again, the questions are so appropriate for decisions taken within the industry as a whole it's untrue.

The way this was announced is also not great, from the perspective of someone reading these papers.

The piece on the Herald Express website informs us that Davidson will be "jotting down his words of wisdom" in the column.

One can only marvel at what such words of wisdom may be, from a man who penned such beauties as this, a quote attributed to Davidson when asked of the reasons behind his move to Dubai when a Labour Government was elected:

"I may as well go to Dubai and be an ethnic minority there than wait five years till I become one here," he said.


Well, I suppose one age-old newspaper adage that will remain true is that the readership will be the best judge of what works in the paper.

And what doesn't.

* regardless of quality.
** A "regular visitor and former seasonal resident", according to the Herald Express piece, which makes me a qualified columnist for Majorca quite frankly.

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