Friday, December 20, 2013

Who Reads the Papers?

We have been very gratified by the large volume of press interest in our book/rankings from news outlets in the United Kingdom.  I've personally been interviewed by the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, and substantive articles have also appeared in the Independent, the Telegraph and the Guardian, plus an appearance on the Newstalk radio show with Sean Moncrieff (listen 35 minutes in).

This response has put to shame what we have received from American newspapers to date.  It is probably partially explained by the fact that Cambridge University Press is a British publisher, and presumably has better press contacts there.   But it also reflects the greater competition and depth of the British newspaper establishment, with a dozen or so newspapers fighting for circulation among the same population.   Not exactly the same.   Each newspaper there aims for a distinct audience, as shown in the comedy sketch "Who reads the papers?"

The truth of this came clear to me during my interviews.  The reporter from the Sunday Times sounded like Hugh Grant [6623], an Oxbridge-type whose accent made him appear more cultured and sophisticated than any human can possibly be.  By comparison, the reporter from the Daily Mail came across as a street-smart urchin banging out his text from the local pub.   When I corresponded with him the next day, he was trapped covering a court hearing in some (no doubt) tawdry case.  But I must credit him on his very fast work.  We talked only 15 minutes, and I could hear him typing up a quite reasonable story even we spoke.