Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Build Your Own Local Newspaper

Lots of talk on all the blogs about the requests from on high for proper training of journalists and award schemes for the best of the best in Oman. 

Are you an aspiring Top Gun of print media? Why not give it a go? 

Having given this a lot of thought, I have decided to put together a "Beginner's Template" for setting up a local newspaper. 
This is in order to give those of you who have not been in the business too long, a chance to get stuck in right away with your new publication. 

Here goes:

Page 1: 
This page should have the name of your newspaper. Try to make this as large as possible so that you can fill up as much of the front third of the page as you can. 
Underneath the logo, put in the prayer times for the day and also the weather forecast. (The weather forecast is especially important in the summer months).

Then, write a synopsis of all the lovely telegrams that have been sent that day to leaders around the world - make sure that they are long enough in description to warrant a "continued on page 2" at the end of each paragraph. 
Fill the bottom half of this page with an advertisement for a car or a bank. 

Page 2:
Continue the telegram stories and also put in some reports about building roads, as well as being sure to cover another of the dozens of committees that have been set up to monitor the other committees that were set up before, to oversee the plans that are in place for something or other. 

A nice picture of an international company signing some sort of "Agreement" would also look good on this page.

Place a large half page advertisement for a car or bank here too. 

Page 3:
A full page ad here for "The Wave" or similar "Expats buy your holiday home here...please!" property development, with pictures of harmonious living coupled with images of pastey-white nuclear families with their kids on their shoulders, swanning along on the beach in winter. 
(They haven't been able to find family models who can stand outside for photo sessions in July without a visit to the burns unit at Muscat Private.)

Page 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8:
Photos.....hundreds of photos of people at various parties and functions at the major hotels. 

Page 9: 
Classified ads for cars, air-conditioners and areas of land suitable for Labour Camps. 
Also, photos of Indians who have absconded from work here. 
(Can't think of any reason why they would want to do that!)
And, of course, an ad for a car, bank, or property development.

Page 10: 
As highly patronising an article as possible on "Healthy Living". 
Something painfully obvious like - "Cyanide Kills - Don't Eat It".
And a half page ad for a car, bank, property development - or maybe stun your readers with one for a restauarant. Nothing like cutting-edge "shock" marketing to keep them happy.

Page 11:
A separate news section for India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, telling horror stories of the atrocities and hard-living there, in the hopes that the ones living here don't ever entertain the thoughts of going back and leaving the locals to take care of things for themselves. 
A half page ad for a car, bank or property development.

Back page:
Photos of students from various schools who have received medals, citations, certificates or gold stars for their work. 
A half page ad for a car, bank or property development. 

There you have it. It's complicated, but if you stick with it, you could go far!


Bobby said...

I have quit opening the newspaper.

Angry In Oman said...

You forgot the all important guess the celebrity body part and cross word puzzles!

Anonymous said...

Funny, reading your blog is like reading my mind, except that I'm a lean British guy and you may be a fat American.