The National Post Goes Mobile-ish
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The National Post Goes Mobile-ish

The Post decides that what it needs is a food truck, but with Christie Blatchford playing the role of Zane Caplansky.

Photo from Kim Randall's Twitter account

Photo from Kim Randall’s Twitter account.

In an effort to reach out to readers they once took for granted, newspapers are on a quest to innovate. Today, the National Post announced its latest experiment to engage would-be readers: For the next six weeks, it will send out a food truck armed with newspapers, snacks, and columnists. And so today marked another fine moment for journalism, with Christie Blatchford playing the role of a scampy newsie in a Post truck parked near Ryerson University.

The Post truck has its merits, if you ask the over-eager MBA graduate who appears to have written the press release:

National Post is jumping on the food truck craze with the launch of its “Get to Know Us” summer marketing campaign designed to engage readers and invite them to get to know us better. The innovative brand positioning and multiplatform campaign will leverage print, experiential, digital, social and website channels to promote National Post’s offerings across all brand platforms: Print, Digital, and Mobile… Readers will also have the opportunity to meet celebrated National Post columnists who will be along for the ride at various stops.

How very 2011! We imagine the pitch for this idea went something like, “You see, it’s like Uber, but for newspapers! We gotta hit the streets, and do some real reporting brand-building.”

Someone got paid money for this. As the Post will tell us, capitalism is great, you guys.

But we should keep some perspective here. After all, the real victims in this corporate exercise are Post columnists who have to slum it with the Metro-reading masses. And for Blatchford, this isn’t even the most humiliating newspaper assignment the poor soul has done. That distinction likely came when she was a young Star reporter writing about a fad diet where she only ate bananas for a week. In the end, she did not enjoy the “yellow devils.”

The highly paid columnist has come a long way since then, even if she isn’t always the most liked. So if you see Blatch idling in a truck downtown, looking as disgusted as she must have been on day six of the banana diet, then make sure to give her a hug. She deserves it.

From the Toronto Star, July 25, 1978

With files from Jamie Bradburn.