Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

I've never read David Greising's business column in the Chicago Tribune, but I just came across a surprisingly-compelling article about how it's been phased out of the paper. It's an article about columnists in general, and whether a small but loyal readership -- and an undeniable quality -- should be enough to sustain something even when the general readership ignores it. I admit there's a slight bias on my part toward thinking that a small but loyal readership is a nice readership to have, and the mere existence of this weblog may be the only reason I think the article is interesting. Nevertheless, I found it interesting. Especially:

"Greising may not have had a mass readership, but I find it hard to believe he didn’t have a core of readers who looked for him every day. I know several people who read him who had hardly ever glanced at the business section before Greising was there; and, indeed, many of those folks read Greising but ignored the business section’s uninspiring offerings. While my market research methods may not be as sophisticated as the Tribune’s, I wonder if they are more journalistically sound. There ought to be a place in newspapering for gut judgments, for recognizing quality and sticking with it, for finding a way to convince readers that you have a star on your hands. Maybe that kind of effort is reserved for the likes of “Ask Amy.”

And what if Greising had a small but loyal core readership? Isn’t that worth something? After all, not everything in a newspaper has to appeal to everyone. Put a little something for everyone in there and pretty soon you’ve stitched together a readership."