MediaPost – in a piece that boldly proclaims “WSJ.com Winning Formula: Target Female Readers” – manages to do something FishbowlNY thought was impossible: Say absolutely nothing with lots of words.
The article references recent female-friendly subjects in the Journal – such as the infamous Tiger Mom piece – as proof that the paper and website are reaching out to women.
Aside from the fact that there are only three articles to back up this claim (three articles out of thousands isn’t exactly a trend), the author repeatedly refutes that they’re totally female-centric:
It didn’t hurt that they also courted controversy by touching on hot-button issues, such as race, gender relations, and teen sexuality.
On one hand it played to the grievances of some female readers, but was also guaranteed to provoke interest (and no small number of indignant responses) from male readers.
Again, this last essay (like much of the new content targeting women) is cleverly positioned to attract curious male readers as well.
Wait! We thought this whole stupid article was about women readers?
If that wasn’t enough, the author then gives stats breaking down Journal readership, which again, disproves his theory:
Digital readership is still stuck at a 75%-25% male-female ratio; more recently, Quantcast has it at 69%-31%, suggesting that a shift may indeed be underway. The newspaper’s print readership was 62.3% male and 37.7% female in fall 2009, according to MRI.
So then what the hell is the author even talking about??? It’s enough to drive us insane. What is the point of posting an article that denies the very idea it was based on?
In closing, we agree with the MediaPost article.