Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fleet Street shows America how to win online success

Peter Preston writes:

Is America the true fount of reporting excellence or just a puffing also-ran behind the sharper, competitive Fleet Street athletes? Prepare, at last, to see some reasonable comparative data to back up your prejudices.

Fact One takes some awful US circulation figures (down on average a grisly 10.6% year on year) and looks to see who's America's biggest seller. USA Today has dipped 17%, nearly 400,000. Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, bouncing over the 2m mark, is walloping all contenders. Cue a Columbia Journalism Review lament about the triumph of "the Anglo-Australian model" (a paper edited by an Australian who used to edit the Times in London, Robert Thomson). Why, it's terser, brighter and generally livelier. What could be more shameful than that?

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