Saving the Bulletin?

NortonBulletin.jpg

Sunbeam’s Personal Groomer ($14.95) removes the unsightly hair that grows from a man’s nostrils when he reaches a certain age. It appears along with Remington’s Precision Dual-Head Nose, Ear, and Eyebrow trimmer ($22.95) on page 71 of this week’s Bulletin. That just about sums about everything you need to know about the Bulletin and its declining readership.

If I imagined the Bulletin as human it would be male, balding, divorced, overweight, and probably on Prozac. It would drive a company owned Ford Fairmont and listen to greatest hits from the 70s, 80s, and 80s. Occasionally it would wonder why young professional women don’t find it attractive.

While supermarket shriekers like New Idea lead with pictures of Princess Mary, Brad Pitt, and Oprah, the Bulletin prefers hard news like their recent cover story about a celebrity who finds his long lost adopted son ("He’s beautiful – absolutely beautiful" says his mum). On page 13 there’s a story about a Northern territory bloke who called another bloke a poofter, while on page 34 you can read about a guy called ‘Jesus’ who’s very good at playing poker. And if you ever wondered what Tony Abbott’s naked legs looked like, then you can find out on page 18. It’s pretty demanding stuff.

According to Andrew Norton at Catallaxy the Bulletin’s circulation "is in disastrous decline". While he’d be sorry to see it go Andrew admits that he "stopped subscribing long ago, and probably only buy two or three issues a year."

And why would you buy it? According ACP’s own readership data, the percentage of Ralph readers who prefer to eat healthy snacks is higher than the percentage of Bulletin readers with degrees or diplomas. A disturbingly high proportion of the magazine’s readers are over 50. The articles are dumbed-down, there are too many large, uninteresting pictures, and the graphic design is ordinary. I wouldn’t subscribe even if it came with a free nose hair trimmer.

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Nabakov
Nabakov
2022 years ago

I’m not really an evil-minded prick. But if I was, I’d suggest that someone like Tim Lambert who knows what he’s doing with data, could graph the Bully’s flagging fortunes for the future against when little tim came onboard as deputy news excitement handler.

Mind you, I was half hoping lil’ timmie could help turn The Bully around, and make it a less of nasal nuking rag and more of a lively current affairs publication.

But at the moment, it really is like Who Magazine for people who don’t read Who magazine,

Philip Gomes
2022 years ago

Now that they’re having cross promotions with Blair’s blog I wonder if we’ll see the grooming tools advertised there, his readership needs them to shave the hair off their knuckles and palms…….

sophie
sophie
2022 years ago

The Bulletin’s been struggling for a very long time now, and losing circulation. I must say I’ve only bought it when there’s been interesting specials–for instance, some very good focus articles on the Melbourne gang wars, and the Christmas issue with lots of stories.
I think that people simply don’t read weekly newsmags anymore much(apart from perhaps TIME, which has unlimited resources, it seems) and the costs are getting prohibitive. After all, you have the SAturdayeditions of papers complere with feee colour mags–it must cut into the potential circulation of mags like The Bulletin. Monthlies do better–you can concentrate on in depth articles and not worry so much over missing out on big news. Weeklies have both the anxiety level of dailies, and the inability to mint fresh news that monthlies have. That’s just the way of it. In a more patient age, it didn’t matter. Now it does.
I wish Tim Blair the very best in helping to revitalise a once-great publication, but the Bulletin’s woes are of very long duration. The incorporation with Newsweek, years ago, was also a sign of that problem. But maybe there’s life in the old dog yet. Its obit has been declared many times before.
Certainly I think dumbing-down is a daft idea quite apart from humiliating. Becoming sleazy and pathetic hasn’t helped New Idea and Woman’s Day in their sliding circulations, in fact it’s put people off while making the mags seem desperate and clutching at straws; the biggest selling mag of them all in that category is the much more prissy, much more traditional Women’s Weekly.

sophie
sophie
2022 years ago

Sorry–excuse all the typos I made in my comment just above! Rushing to write when your son’s hassling you to have the computer is not the best way to ensure spelling’s perfect!

Andrew Norton
Andrew Norton
2022 years ago

Thanks, Don, my second Bulletin cover story:)

Tony.T
2022 years ago

I can honestly say I’ve never purchased a copy of The Bulletin.

Done a few puzzles at the back, though. You know, in my doctors’ waiting room.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

Don
you’re great with this stuff! To flatter my vanity, please do a cover of whatever with me one day!

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Given that the Bulletin is in trouble but its owners own the bank, it is probably time for the ol’ Bull…. to experiment aggressively with online content.

At the moment it looks like a suburban throwaway in the Kingdom of the Blind.

marklatham
2022 years ago

I stopped buying the bulletin years ago as it’s price increased and it’s content became increasingly irrelevant.
Now that tim bliar is on board the bulletin is completely irrelevant.
To employ someone as an editor who practices censorship on his blog is an affront to us all.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Well, it’s now a magazine for dumb people, and dumb people don’t read that many current affairs magazines.

Isn’t it that simple?

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