I heard it for the umpteenth time today in a meeting at work: "Nobody reads copy."
Greeaaat. So, um, should I like hand in my employee badge and buy a one-way ticket back to the states? I should probably touch up my Photoshop skills. Or find something else useful to do in life.
Work actually has been going really well. I'm involved in a really fun project at the moment. And I don't believe that nobody reads copy (doh! double negative). People might not read everything. But I think they absorb headlines, even if it's subconsciously.
The funny (and reassuring) thing is that copywriters are predicted to be one of the most in-demand workers in the next few years, at least in the U.S. My friend Andrea, another writer, sent the report to me a few months back. Something about mega-salaries. I'm not sure why. But everything in the news is true, right?
Meanwhile, I sit here reading the local Swedish newspaper. All Swedes buy newspapers. I think it must be for the weekend listings. I saw a couple of photo assistants on the way back from lunch yesterday carrying some groceries and the local rag. It actually struck me as a good thing... that people still rely on newspapers for their news. I know readership has been dropping in the U.S. But I don't think it's the case here. I decided to look it up, and the stats are impressive. According to a paper from Göteborg University, "Most Swedish people watch television, listen to radio and read a daily newspaper on an average day. And so it has been for the last 20 years."
The report adds that "about 6 out of 10 young people take part of a morning newspaper on an average day."
I think it must be a matter of routine here. In the U.S., we have 24-hour news channels. Here, you get the news at very specific times. It's just like shopping. In the U.S., some stores are open all night. In Sweden, shops close at 6 on weekdays and between 2 and 4 on weekends. It forces you to be organized with your time. You can't buy something whenever, just like you can't watch the news whenever. That means people need to be proactive about making it a priority. Which is why you see everyone buying a newspaper. They can't just flick on the TV at 1 a.m. to get the local news. It's you-snooze-you-lose country out here.
I like it.
So what are the headlines in the Smålandsposten? Something about no toilets somewhere, a model who likes horses and this sport they play in Sweden that involves a compass and a map.
But I just look at the pictures.