Caffeinated ideas and views on marketing communications

scanning news

How I read the news and why it matters

I am an avid news follower. I have been reading a newspaper daily since I was eight years old (really). At times, I even read two and three dailies (when I was in grad school up at Boston University, I decided I should read the Wall Street Journal, in addition to the New York Times and the Boston Globe. The Globe was not owned by the Times then, but I digress).  Additionally, I read lots of stuff online plus I watch the CBS and/or NBC evening news broadcasts when I can.

Reading the newspaper in park by Zoetnet on Flickr

When I read the newspaper, what I am really doing is scanning. I scan all the headlines first. If the headline is about an interesting subject, then I read the first few paragraphs (same goes for op-eds). I usually discard the sports section, but only after reading the main headline on the front page (it is important to know the results of the game, but I have no patience for the analysis of why).

I don’t read long articles–never have and never will. I don’t have the patience or the time.

Even though most people don’t read printed newspapers, they are acting the same online: They scan. They skip long form. They only read what interests them.

Lessons here are:

  • Headlines matter A LOT.
  • Longer is not necessarily better.
  • People will always read only what interests them.

In other words, keep it short and keep it interesting.

About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.


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