Date

Wed - 13.12.2017


BILD says auf Wiedersehen to naked page one girls

BILD says auf Wiedersehen to naked page one girls

In a decision taken on International Women’s Day, popular German tabloid BILD has decided to stop publishing pictures of naked women on its front page.

“It might be a small step for women. But it’s a big step for BILD and for all men in Germany,” declared the tabloid on Friday.

Although BILD represents the changes as something that “many women…always wanted,” the decision to remove naked girls from page one seem to be part of an updated design rather than a major shift in newsroom culture. The tabloid will continue to publish erotic pictures, but they will no longer be on the front page.

“In the future BILD will still be sexy, but also more modern and better packaged on the inside of the paper,” promises the tabloid.

Spiegel suggests that the decision is primarily financially driven. The respected news magazine points out that BILD’s circulation has dropped from 4.4 million around the end of the 90s to 2.7 million at the end of 2011. Spiegel references an internet debate about whether BILD still deserves its title of “the most widely circulated newspaper in Europe,” or whether it has already been overtaken by Rupert Murdoch’s Sun.

To counter this steady decline in readership, Spiegel suggests that BILD has been trying to modernise its image. “Recently BILD has been giving itself a somewhat more serious gloss, it's getting itself talked about with investigative reports and has been surveying ‘reader committees’ at regular intervals,” Spiegel writes.

These “reader’s committees”, which began in 2007, are part of a move to help BILD engage with its audience face-to-face. The tabloid invites select readers to into the newsroom to give their opinion about possible changes that could be made. One committee from last October was held just for women.

The Guardian writes that the removal of the page one girl is part of a bid to court female readers. The paper quotes the media analysis website Meedia.de, which claims that BILD is "is suddenly mutating to be sympathetic towards women.”

The decision to remove the page one girl from BILD was made at a meeting attended exclusively by male staff members, as the paper gave all its female workers the day off to mark International Women’s Day last Thursday.

Anyone who is sorry to see the Bild page one girl go, (such as BILD commentator Franz Josef Wagner) don’t seem to have that much to fear. The article announcing that BILD will no longer be printing nude pictures on page one is accompanied by a picture of a topless women, with the caption “I’m the last”. The post announcing the change ends “the old advertising slogan of BILD from the 90s is still true: naked facts – we show you both!” On BILD’s website, the article is followed by a link “click here for more hot erotica”.

The idea that BILD is now trying to connect more with its female readers has been mocked by other German papers. Lena Jakat at Süddeutsche Zeitung writes “in fact we’ve know for a long time how well BILD understands us. At least since you explained to us at the beginning of February what not to do when giving a blowjob.”

Sources: BILD (1) (2) (3) (4), Spiegel, Guardian, journalistiklehrbuch.de, sfnblog, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-12 16:13

Shaping the Future of the News Publishing


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