For those of us of a certain small-but-growing subset—the blogging, commenting, techno-savvy, early-adopting, extreme-news consumers—it’s sometimes easy to forget that most people don’t live like we do. They don’t use RSS. They don’t Twitter. They don’t read twenty blogs a day. They (some 100 million or so) still actually pick up the newspaper and read it.
Here is one of those lessons an older, more experienced editor taught me along with how to edit: We in the newsroom are not normal readers. We’re not really part of our target audience, even though we may live in the same town and send our kids to the same schools as everyone else. We’re different, because we are in the business. And as soon as we forget that and start to make evaluations and decisions based on the idea that what we like and what we do and how we react is the same as our readers, we’re definitely out of touch. Dangerously so.