Globe’s gambit

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During a recent publishing conference, Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley said that the Globe is only interested in courting readers who made in excess of $100,000. While this statement may have some alienating effects, it’s simply an honest telling of the Globe’s longstanding tendency to cater towards a wealthier and more educated readership.

These are trying times for print journalism. Every newspaper is tinkering with different methods of garnering advertising money, readership and online subscribers. The fact that the Globe is solidifying its reputation as a newspaper for “elite” readers is a pragmatic business decision.

If the Globe was Canada’s sole news service, this announcement would be much more problematic. However, there are newspapers and news outlets that cater to many different socioeconomic classes and political persuasions. As long as there’s still a wide variety of news offered to Canadians, then a single company’s business decision should not be cause for alarm.

The Globe’s announcement has some awkward implications, however. Readers who don’t make over $100,000 in a year might feel slighted. The large number of people who work for the Globe and don’t make enough money to be in its ideal readership demographic may resent their position. It’s also possible that the Globe’s editorial bias and news coverage could shift as its readership narrows. However, it has always been a somewhat elitist centre-right outlet, so any shift won’t be substantial.

If anything, it’s good that the Globe is being transparent and direct about a marketing strategy that it has employed for some time now. It’s always been a newspaper for the upper class, and now that Phillip Crawley has been honest about it, the discerning public can make more informed choices about whether to get their news from other sources.

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