How to Fix Your Newspaper

The Post’s Sunday Outlook section featured a hilarious piece by Bob Brody, a public relations executive in New York City. Brody discusses–satirically–how newspapers can stop hemorrhaging readers.

Some of his suggestions:

  • The newspaper you hold in your hands has gone through what these days would be called an extreme makeover. For starters, our pages are now lined in suede. Consumer research has shown us that you appreciate newspapers as physical objects. Hence the new velvety texture, designed to enhance your tactile pleasure and cause you to bond with us, possibly even leading you to stroke the pages resting in your lap.

  • [W]e have established a section purely for fiction, called “Too Good to Check.” Reporters inclined toward fabrication are now free to invent characters and dialogue across all genres seen in journalism, including fairy tales.

  • We’re also acknowledging your complaints about political reporting that’s rife with ideological bias. From now on, in the interest of being literally bipartisan, our political news will appear on directly opposing pages, the left-hand side giving a liberal interpretation, the right a conservative one.

  • To extend the reach of our patrons and avoid charging you more for the paper, we’re opening our editorial pages to product placement. Op-eds, editorials and columns will now be studded with random brand mentions, primarily of luxury goods favored by high-end subscribers so desirable to sponsors. No longer will editorials end with statements like, “Only time will tell.” Now they will say, “Only time, accurately kept by Rolex, will tell.”

  • We’re exploring other far-ranging (Microsoft-style) upgrades as well — everything from home-delivered editions personally monogrammed (by L.L. Bean) to skin-toned ink that comes off on your fingertips so that female subscribers can reuse it as makeup. We may also experiment with publishing obituaries of people you merely wish would die.