Dull cover stories

You know there's something wrong with a cover story when its lede is: "The Nai Lert Park annual fair is taking a more fun-filled approach this year, and calling itself the Flower Carnival." Well yes, that does sound fun. "To advertise the event organisers paraded naked models covered with orchids." Apparently this is front-page news in Bangkok. It gets better. "Participants this year include leading flower arrangers and top business people."

I often read Bangkok's media publications and feel slightly miffed that editors want to break everything down into A-to-Zs, top 100s and Q&A interviews. They do nothing for me. But I digress. Stories about flower carnivals are up there among the least exciting ways you could run a front page.

I don't want to give Daily Xpress too hard a time because I understand the enormous pressure the publication is under at the moment, but the whole set-up needs a kick up the ass. There was enormous potential to offer a high-quality publication, but it's just not happening at the moment. I hope that Daily Xpress can come good and sort itself out.

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6 thoughts on “Dull cover stories

  1. After working 20 years in print journalism, I think I can fairly say "high quality" and "free" don't mix when it comes to publications.

  2. It's bread and circuses — the more unstable the political and economic domains, the more people want to be entertained and not think. Perhaps that's why the Gold Age of screwball comedy in the U.S. was in the 1930s.

  3. You certainly CAN have highly successful (from revenue and readership points-of-view) free newspapers. Look at Metro or London Paper in the UK. Those are excellent examples of newspapers that are well distributed, well read and well advertised. Whether they are high quality is debatable, but they give people a reason to read.

    I've blogged so much about Daily Xpress because I truly believe the concept works. Nation has just turned their free publication into a total mess.

    I'm blogging something else about it later today.

  4. I don't really understand the negative coverage about Xpress. It's a proven concept in other countries, they're not doing to bad in finding ever-new topics – and they cover the basics.

    Even the Flower Story, I bet the article attracts a great many hits. Even though the article has no content at ll.

    Had a talk a while ago with Khun Pana – the hardest task seems to be to find new, different, "other" stories each day.

    "Flowers" and "naked" fit the profile.

    Let's hope they'll weather the difficult environment.

  5. If gambling was legal in Thailand I would put money on some kind of payment taking place for that story to appear on the cover. Is that really the most important story of the day?

    The concept of a NEWSpaper is certainly proven elsewhere but Daily Xpress is not a newspaper. They made that fact clear from the very first edition.

    I also hope it survives but I think, sadly, it will continue to struggle unless some drastic changes are made.

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