Ever wonder why newspapers are shedding readers almost as fast as advertisers?
One reason, I suspect, is that they’re losing touch with what information people who read them need. Today’s New York Times provides a textbook example. On the front page, the paper has a chilling and fascinating account of Toyota’s slow reaction to mounting evidence that problems with its cars’ gas pedals could prove deadly.
The story starts with the fiery death of four people and then jumps to Page 11, where it has a nifty timeline of crashes and subsequent Toyota warnings, a bar chart showing declines in the company’s U.S. sales, pictures and the rest of a substantial, 2,000-word article.
Just one small thing is missing. The Times never says what models and years are being recalled.
Come on. As the owner of two Toyotas, that is absolutely the first piece of information I wanted to know, even if it was published a week or two ago. If you’re going to scare me as a wake-up call, try informing me, too!
Just for the record, Toyota announced today that it will begin fixing the accelerator pedals of 2.3 million U.S.-sold vehicles from these models and years.
• Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
• Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
• 2009-2010 Matrix
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• Certain 2007-2010 Camry
• Certain 2010 Highlander
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2008-2010 Sequoia
Dear editor, I should not have had to look that up online. I buy two papers to learn such things.