A physical book. What were they thinking?

A Whaleoil reader shares his Christmas story

I got given a book for Christmas. As I was un-wrapping it & realised it was a book I was quite horrified. It was a big thick book about some dead black guy. ‘What the hell am I going to do with this?’ was my immediate reaction.

It’s not that I don’t read. In fact I am an avid reader often reading both a fiction & non-fiction book at the same time. I often read first thing in the morning & for short periods during the day. I read more now than I did 5 years ago, because now I have a Kindle. The Kindle lets me flick between books & magazines. The Kindle has changed my reading behaviour.

One of the times of year I read the most is over Christmas / New Year when normally I am camping at the beach without the distraction of the internet. During these camping holidays I would take a half hour stroll to the local store to buy the Herald. That was the only time in the year I bought the paper. 10 years ago I would buy the Herald every Saturday & Sunday & read it over brunch at the café. 20 years ago I would read it cover to cover at my desk each morning before starting work. Now I never buy it at all.

The internet came along, so I stopped buying physical newspapers and started visiting the Herald website. Then I discovered other websites & realised that I had the whole world at my keyboard. Then something significant happened.  

2 years ago I got a tablet. A Nexus 7. The world of Apps arrived. I now no longer needed to even get out of bed to read the news. I no longer needed to visit web sites. Just 1 touch on an App. Just as the Kindle has changed my reading behaviour, the Tablet has changed the way I consume news.

I noticed I was going to the Stuff App first & then the Herald App. It was not a conscious decision & I realised that this behaviour was strictly due to the location of the 2 Apps on my Tablet. I had put them on the same page & they fell where they did. Just as stock in the middle of supermarket shelves sells quicker, my natural behaviour was to click one App over another. And therein lays a big problem for the Herald.

The Herald can no longer print a big headline to entice me to stop & buy the paper. It can not control the location of the App on my Tablet. It has to give me a reason to want to click on the Herald App. If I want reliable international news I click the BBC App. If I want financial news I click another App. Why click the Herald App?

Because I go to the Stuff App first I have noticed that the stories on the Herald App are pretty much the same as on Stuff. I now open a Herald story not to see what the story is but to see what Spin the Herald has put on it. I regularly finish reading a Herald story asking ‘what aren’t they telling me?’

The Herald used to be called the Granny Herald. A term I took to mean old solid & reliable. No more. Through conscience policy or by accident the Herald Brand is now associated with one sided anti government opinion masquerading as news.

That’s OK, if they think that’s where they want their brand positioned in the market. However I have not bough a physical paper in years. My Kids in their late teens will probably never buy a physical paper in their lifetime. I only click the Herald App out of habit & I strongly suspect that my kids will never get that habit to start with.

The Herald is dying & will soon just be a memory, a foot note in history. A bit like that dead black guy in the book I got given for Christmas. Seriously, a physical book. What were they thinking?

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.