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Who is the Listener listening to?

Written By: - Date published: 12:56 pm, June 6th, 2008 - 7 comments
Categories: articles - Tags: , ,

Here’s an interesting piece from Otago University student magazine, Critic – “Who is the Listener listening to”:

Substance does not always equate to sales. [Editor] Stirling admits that during the 2005 election, their eight ‘political covers’ bombed. Yet there are perennial features that seem bigger sellers than others, and one of the Listener’s eternal stalwarts is house prices. [Former editor] Finlay Macdonald confesses: ‘I was talking to a friend the other night about the ultimate Listener cover. We decided it would be ‘Do House Prices Make You Look Fat?’ We would have to put something about NCEA in the by-line too – just to be safe.’

(Hat-tip: PM (no, not her))

7 comments on “Who is the Listener listening to? ”

  1. r0b 1

    Who is listening to the Listener? We just let our subscription lapse. The mix of columnists at the moment seems poor. I think it was Ralston’s “Life” column that pushed me over the edge. So long, and thanks for all the fish…

  2. Amen to that R0b.

    This puts me in mind of the Women’s Weekly and its target readership. Many moons ago I met the WW’s art director (forget what they called his position) and he told me about Myrtle, the middle-aged farmer’s wife from Waikikamukau, who belonged to the local CWI, etc. They discovered how poor Myrtle’s eyesight was when they started printing text on coloured backgrounds.

    Back a few years, when the Listener was still a magazine of substance, the target reader was probably Myrtle’s younger sister, who went off to Training College, married another school teacher and moved to Wellington. Now it seems to be Myrtle’s son, who shifted to Auckland, sells real estate and lives in an oversized house not too far from the beach.

    What do people think?

  3. randal 3

    i haven’t read it for over twenty years cause it never had any class. nobody there knew anything that was anygood. it lacked any substance whatsoever.

  4. We used to sub to the Listener. I let it go when too many writers appeared who appeared to have little regard for the evidence before inserting their opinions into stories.

    I’ve bought the last 3 issues and found them to be worth reading. I’m considering subscribing again.

    The cover stories definitely affect sales. Even I bought the issue about house prices recently.

  5. forgetaboutthelastone 5

    I stopped reading about 2 years ago when it seemed it was becoming too Womans Weekly like. The last straw was some article about how you should dress for some particular situation I can’t quite remember. How to dress gay – or how to dress and not look gay or something like that. I didn’t read the article.

    Also – Steve Braunius had long gone off the boil and that Black woman was really annoying.

  6. r0b 7

    Hi Lynn – the search box is throwing up an error when used (followed by the usual results). Example error:

    WordPress database error: [Unknown column ‘score’ in ‘order clause’]
    SELECT wp_posts.post_date_gmt FROM wp_search,wp_posts WHERE (MATCH(content,priority) AGAINST (‘Finlay Macdonald’ IN BOOLEAN MODE)) AND wp_search.post_id=wp_posts.ID AND post_password=” AND (wp_posts.post_status=’publish’) AND post_date < NOW() GROUP BY ID ORDER BY score DESC,post_date DESC

    [lprent: Interesting – I’ll have a peek at it. Reproduced the error. I’ll need to wait until I get home where the source is. That is weird it almost looks like a column went AWOL.]

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