Thursday, May 01, 2003

Don't get cocky, kid
Creative Loafing | The AJC's Mini-Me
A journalist visiting Atlanta a few weeks ago stopped by The Daily Newspaper of Dramatically Declining Circulation (hereinafter referred to as the AJC). When the scribe offhandedly made a laudatory remark about The Rapidly Growing Alternative Newspaper (aka Creative Loafing or, to save a little ink, CL), an AJC poobah sniffed that the alt-weekly was "free." That disparagement was meant to end discussion -- "free" equals "not worthy."
Later that day, the journalist, BBC's Greg Palast, would quip to an overflow crowd at Emory U that he found it a relief that CL was "free" because the AJC was obviously still "enslaved."

I'm no big fan of CL (I don't fit their demographic any better than I fit the Journal-Constitution's), but I'm tickled that the AJC is worried about them. Unfortunately, they've chosen the "New Coke" tactic: Rather than produce the best "grown-up" newspaper they can, they're trying to produce something that appeals to the CL reader as they perceive him/her to be.

Coke discovered (didn't I say this already?) that people who wanted a drink that tasted like Pepsi already had one. How long will it take the AJC to reach the same conclusion?

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