Britain’s Daily Telegraph has been in freefall for a number of years now, and despite the mass sackings of last year, the departure of Jason ‘Psycho’ Seiken, and the departure of many of its best journalists and columnists of their own volition, the paper still seems to believe that tinkering around at the edges is the best way to get its readers back.
But it is not.
The reason the Telegraph is in decline – it lost a further 8.4 per cent of readers this year – is because it has left its base behind.
The paper was often known as the “Torygraph”, but in recent years has been pandering to the web’s liberal-left audience, desperate to find a home for itself amongst cat-gif-loving millenials who reckon that Jurassic World was shit because it didn’t attack cis-gendered, straight, white, privileged males enough.
But instead the paper’s editor, Chris Evans, wrote nearly 800 words about why the newspaper is ever so slightly changing its logo, and increasing the line spacing on its front page “a tiny bit”, leading to “a small sacrifice in the number of words printed – about 5%” which Evans believes “is a reasonable price to pay in order to make reading the paper far more pleasurable.”
Wow. I’ll definitely be buying the Telegraph tomorrow then.
The paper’s online presence is now defined not by its news coverage but by its frustrating paywall. It lost the best European Editor around just as an EU referendum started to become a reality. And its reputation has been tarnished – rightly or wrongly – by allegations made against it by former senior writers about its impartiality towards its advertisers.
Yes, this is the paper that revealed the MP expenses scandal, and it still is fairly profitable. But as Roy Greenslade wrote: “it has not solved the main problem of a paper that has lost its mojo and just doesn’t know how to get it back.”
Well I do. But as the Editor-in-Chief of Breitbart London I’m glad it doesn’t. Because small c-conservatives, libertarians, and patriots are flocking to other news sites. And if the Telegraph doesn’t want those readers, or even some of their more conservative writers… I’m delighted to have them.