Some of my twittering friends have reacted with horror to the forthcoming arrival of an Australian Daily Mail website but for the life of me I don’t know why. It seems to me that the British version has become the most read newspaper site in the world for one very simple reason – it gives people stories that they actually want to read. And what can be wrong with that? I’m sure that the same formula will as successful here as in the UK when people start voting with their clicks.
Perhaps it’s because of the years I spent writing for Tasmanian and Melbourne Truth before graduating to the Financial Times of London and The Economist that has taught me not to be too precious about such matters. Each to his or her own. One of the biggest mistakes a journalist can make is letting a view of what people should be interested in dominate writing about the things people actually are interested in. The Mail does not make that kind of error although if you scroll past the tits and bums you will find plenty of stories and opinions to satisfy most tastes even though many of them come nowhere near the top of the most read lists.
And it is not as if the existing Australian newspaper sites have their worthy and serious pieces as their most popular. Tonight’s Guardian summary (although it appears to be weighted to the UK edition):
And The Australian’s:
Neither of which are much different to that of the most read Australian site really:
The Mail will fit in very nicely with that lot I’m sure. But probably just do it better.