Thursday, 23 August 2012

Dog Bites Man

When journalists learn their trade, they are taught some fundamentals, such as, Dog Bites Man is not news, but Man Bites Dog is. In other words, "news" is not a faithful record of events, but instead is an engaging record of the unusual or, better still, the bizarre. Tyros are also taught that most readers only read headlines and of those, only a minority read what follows and if they do, they will read only the first paragraph, and certainly no more than the first four. As one reads a newspaper story, one is given increasing detail.

These guidelines attest to the notoriously puny attention span of the public, and most readers will only read the increasing detail if the story is concerned with sex.

However wise these guidelines are, they simply do not apply to any story involving celebrities and especially that subset of celebrity, the Royal Family. Today the papers - especially the tabloids - are splashed not with Man Bites Dog but Dog Bites Man. Prince Harry, it seems, has been having fun with several young women in a luxury hotel. So. "Rich, young, single prince frolics about with girls shock"

Ho hum.

1 comment:

  1. Also, it looks increasingly as if getting someone to the page is sufficient. So, it doesn't really matter what is in the article, just so long as the tagline is sexy.