Print nothing that you do not know to be informative, or believe to be entertaining

Observation: Modern journalism is not informative, nor entertaining, and what little information there is is buried deep within large bodies of irrelevant text.

Discussion: The great Arts & Crafts figure William Morris once said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Why should the same not be true of print?

Within so much modern journalism, you end up “reading” a magazine or newspaper and finding that out of the 100 or more pages that you could possibly read, there might be two that are actually worth the time and effort.

But what if a magazine published only what you wanted to read? What if the articles, that once driveled on over three or four pages, were condensed to a single paragraph with just those details of information that were essential to understand the article’s point?  Or perhaps what is currently explained over several paragraphs could be more easily demonstrated by a diagram or illustration that gives an instant understanding of the concept?

And why would we pay £5 or more for an issue of a magazine where most of the pages are oppressive advertisments for products and services that you have no actual interest in purchasing?  Wouldn’t it be better if advertisements were informative and entertaining too?  Surely an advert should demonstrate to a potential customer the real benefit of the company’s services, rather than just latching onto buzz-words and leaping onto bandwagons. The advert should stop trying to proclaim how amazing that company thinks itself is and instead focus on what the customer could achieve, if partnered with their products or services?

Conclusion: Magazines should be cut down so that rather than 150-page monoliths, they are eight-page works of literary art and craftsmanship.

Webtools should, instead of bringing up however many million results, bring up one — The One — that is most relevant to what you are actually looking for.

Books should illustrate complete concepts without forcing you through the subject’s entire boring history.

Note: When I’m talking about publications in this instance, these are ones for a specific limited audience, not national newspapers or general distribution magazines.  I’m talking more along the lines of trade magazines and web search tools for specific functions.  You obviously cannot second guess what any member of the public is going to want to read!!

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