When I watch TV or read newspapers and magazine I often whine over how can they publish substandard materials and oversell glamor to unsuspecting readers. Whenever anyone dares to ask why they don’t publish much about people who are doing substantial service in the various fields the answer is, “It doesn’t sell.” People are more willing to read about Aish Rai sipping tea in a dhaba than what an obscure person is doing to educate street children. Is it correct?
Here are some facts:
“Although Reader’s Digest was founded in the U.S., its international editions have made it the best-selling monthly magazine in the world. The magazine’s worldwide circulation including all editions has reached 21 million copies and over 100 million readers.
The first international edition was published in the United Kingdom in 1938 and was sold at 2 shillings. Reader’s Digest is currently published in 50 editions and 21 languages and is available in over 61 countries. In 2006, the Reader’s Digest continued to expand, marketing three more new editions in Slovenia, Croatia and Romania. As from October 2007, Reader’s Digest expanded in Serbia.”
“Reader’s Digest is a monthly general interest family magazine. Although its circulation has declined in recent years, the Audit Bureau of Circulation says Reader’s Digest is still the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States, with a circulation of over 10 million copies in the United States, and a readership of 38 million as measured by Mediamark Research (MRI).”
What does this magazine publish? Juicy details of lives of Britney Spears or Pamela Anderson? Certainly not. This magazine sells optimism, extraordinary battles of ordinary souls, clean humor, family values etc. Reader’s Digest sells and sells better than other magazines whose editors claim that story of ordinary mortals don’t sell.