One way to judge the Remain/Leave vote

Newspapers do not instruct the views of their readers. They chase them.

They chase the views of that section of the populace they’re trying to appeal to that is. So, the FT is soft left europhile because that’s the profile of those likely to read the FT.

The Sun is aiming rather more for the gut of the working classes. Sure, they don’t always get that right (Hillsborough anyone?). But that they’ve called it for Leave by calling for Leave is an interesting indication.

Remember: they’re trying to work out what their readers already believe then say that, just like any good salesman does.

23 thoughts on “One way to judge the Remain/Leave vote”

  1. I remember the FT supported Kinnock.

    There’s always this problem of the difference between “business” and “markets”. The CBI are reported as being pro-EU, but you look on their website and they’re basically a bunch of welfare queens wanting more climate change projects, more grants, more trains.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    True, but they also like to be on the winning side. Trevor Kavanagh was excellent on Today on Tuesday.

  3. It did occur to me that some papers might support the option that would lead to more news stories. Brexit is I think the bigger news generator

  4. I don’t know about FT, Tim, but I know about the periodicals business.

    The readers are not the customers; readers are the product. The money in periodicals is not in circulation, it is in ad revenue.

    Every business works its own way, so you may be right about FT. Odds are you are wrong.

  5. >Newspapers do not instruct the views of their readers. They chase them.

    It isn’t quite as simple as that. Newspapers do try to instruct their readers. Obviously there’s a limit to what they can do in such matters. The Sun is never going to try to get its readers to listen to avant-garde classical music, even if it wanted to. The Guardian is never going to try to get its readers to put up England flags all over the houses, even if it wanted to. Newspapers will generally stay within certain boundaries in order to stay in business. But those boundaries are fairly wide, and somewhat flexible, and within those boundaries plenty of the writers will try like hell to influence their readers.

  6. >Every business works its own way, so you may be right about FT. Odds are you are wrong.

    Here’s a tip: try reading it.

  7. Gamecock

    Not relevant to Tim’s point, but, as you know, all media income works from one end of the spectrum to the other – advertising income versus selling the papers / mags

    Mass market – a higher % of ad income (and lower price or even free) can often work well because of the volume of readership / hence reach of the ads.

    Specialist lower volume can work well the other way, because punters will happily pay for quality content. But also advertisers will pay for the specialist targeting to specific types of reader. In small doses – as otherwise the readers will not want to pay, and in any case the advertising is less effective.

    The FT, compared to other UK daily newspapers, is firmly towards the latter model.

    Re Tim’s point, even for mass market, if you lose your readership, you lose your advertising income…

  8. The Inimitable Steve

    The CBI are reported as being pro-EU, but you look on their website and they’re basically a bunch of welfare queens wanting more climate change projects, more grants, more trains.

    All the big nominally British multinationals are.

    Go into any such business these days and you’ll find them constantly annoying their employees with climate change propaganda, diversity nonsense, “corporate social responsibility”, and so on and so forth.

    No surprise so many chairmen and CEO’s are backing Remain.

    They’re not really free marketeers, they’re corporatists.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    William Connolley – “The FT is soft left? C’mon.”

    If you stand far enough to the Left everyone looks like they are on the Right.

  10. The Economist’s readership is by nature in favour of more supra-national governance – many of its readers work in such organisations, or depend on them for revenue.

    The FT increasingly thinks it’s the Economist – less business reporting, more politics and finance. But I suspect their readership are a bit less pro-EU than the Economist’s.

  11. Gamecock and PF

    Sometimes it happens by accident; from Guy Kewney’s article on El Reg on the demise of Personal Computer World in 2009:

    we got a phone call in the office of PCW in the early 80s. It was the man from Gillette, wanting to buy advertising space. “We write about computers,” we told him gently. “Oh. But the demographic is exactly what we want!” Huh?

    Amazingly, it turned out that PCW in the 80s had the highest ratio of male to female readers of any magazine, anywhere. Nobody has ever been able to explain why 98.7 per cent of PCW readers were testosterone-fuelled, and females accounted for just over one per cent.

  12. The Inimitable Steve

    Nobody has ever been able to explain why 98.7 per cent of PCW readers were testosterone-fuelled, and females accounted for just over one per cent.

    Eh, rilly?

    Nobody is able to explain why an anoraky hobby that involves poring over boring lists of specs and spending solitary hours tinkering with machines – particularly in the 80’s, when computers were about as user-friendly as a Rubik’s Cube made of broken glass – would appeal mostly to blokes?

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    The Inimitable Steve – “Eh, rilly?”

    Patriarchy innit? If those men weren’t busy oppressing women by making jokes about their toggles, women would be all over IT.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Newspapers do not instruct the views of their readers. They chase them.

    There’s a thought. The Guardian must really loath their readers.

  15. SMFS, of course it does. Self-loathing is a feature of the SJW. What better organ than the Grauniad to reinforce it.

  16. The Meissen Bison

    SMFS:The Guardian must really loathe their readers

    Just so, but they loathe every other publication’s readers still more.

    The trick consists of hating the sinner far more than the sin, where both sinner and sin are determined by in-house editorial guidelines.

    This is key to understanding how Rothermere and the Barclay brothers can be anathematized by the Guardian and its readers.

  17. “when computers were about as user-friendly as a Rubik’s Cube made of broken glass”

    When did they improve, and why hasn’t anyone told me?

  18. Newspapers do not instruct the views of their readers. They chase them. … Remember: they’re trying to work out what their readers already believe then say that, just like any good salesman does.

    So they have no influence at all on their readers’ beliefs?

  19. Cal
    June 16, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Here’s a tip: try reading it.

    ====================

    You going to pay for it, shithead?

  20. The FT, like The Guardian is staffed by Oxbridge Graduates who think they are the product. They really believe the paper is about their Op Ed columnists.

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