The People’s Blatt
: Matt Welch has a fine analysis of the snobbification of American media and the vast audience of the people lost to newspapers. Of course, it strikes near my heart, media populist that I am.
I’d say that advertisers are also at fault. When I was the Sunday editor of the New York Daily News, I was desperate to get Ikea as an advertiser (not that I was going to go on a sales call; it was just one of those often-ignorant editor’s wishes) because I thought that Ikea’s target was ours as well: New New Yorkers, we called them (immigrants, we used to call them).
But then I compared Ikea’s advertising with its customer base and there was a huge disconnect. Ikea’s advertising was all Yuppie aspirational: witty, wise, urban adults. But walk around the store and you hear more languages than you do on the Security Council (or better said, the New York cab drivers’ union): Ikea was the store of immigrants (plus a few thrifty pieces of Wonder Bread like me). But immigrants are not a desirable demographic. So Ikea advertises to a “higher” plane.
Snobbification is a disease not just of news but also of commerce (not to mention entertainment, religion, and education).
Matt is right: Snobbification leaves out huge swaths of the population, which is bad for business.