YOUNG READERS AND THE “GUANTANAMO MENTALITY”

Files under General | Jul 30th

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The Associated Press is killing its “asap” service in October.

About 200 newspapers subscribed to this service.

It was launched in 2005 as a response to the growth of blogs and youth tabs.

ASAP has 24 staff members.

It offers a variety of packages and reports (including a lot of video and photo galleries) targeting a younger and/or quirkier audience than the standard AP report.

A good service, but in our Young Readers Global Report for the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), one of our main recommendations was not to develop ghetto sections for young readers.

They hate this kind of Guantanamo mentality.

As we said:

Over the last several months, INNOVATION has conducted a global search for the most creative ways to capture young readers.

We have also carried out intense internal discussions among our consultants and clients, and have come to this radical conclusion:

Special sections, tailored supplements, clever Web sites and multimedia projects will not by themselves attract new readers to newspapers.

Millions have been spent on such projects over the past few years, and almost nothing is working.

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2 Responses to “YOUNG READERS AND THE “GUANTANAMO MENTALITY””

  1. yelvington says:

    Juan, I agree 100 percent.

    Our experience has been that younger people will find the print product interesting when it reflects their lives. American newspapers are poor at that.

    There were other structural issues that doomed ASAP from a business standpoint, which I discuss on my blog:
    http://www.yelvington.com/20070729/r_i_p_asap

    Notably, AP’s story about ASAP refers to “the fact that asap had won an EPpy award … for best news site with fewer than 1 million visitors.”

    That sentence pretty much nails it.

  2. [...] MORE: Here’s Steve Yelvington on asap, with more links. Juan Antonio Giner advises companies not to create “ghetto-sections” for young [...]

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