Why can’t real newspapers be as entertainingly titled as their fictional counterparts on television? For that matter, why can’t real newspapers be as entertaining as TV newspapers? Maybe if they were, newspapers would not be a dying medium. This list of fictional newspapers from animated TV series indicates that perhaps screenwriters should be brought in to reboot the newspaper industry. Give ’em an eye-catching new name and then come up with some great ideas for content that brings newspapers out of the 19th century and into the 21st.
The Arlen Bystander: King of the Hill
I mean, you know, c’mon! The Arlen Bystander ! The entire point of journalistic enterprises like newspapers is to not just stand by, but to observe, investigate and report. Well, that’s the way newspaper journalism (and the TV version, too) used to operate before they became mere shills for Whitey. Just the name alone of this fictional newspaper from the highly popular animated TV series is enough to consider. Wouldn’t you at least be tempted to take a peek at, say, The Dallas Bystander or the Miami Bystander?
Bikini Bottom News: SpongeBob SquarePants
Yeah, right, just try tell me that every single heterosexual male in America is not going to stop dead in his tracks if he saw a newspaper called the Bikini Bottom News. Slap a new model wearing bikini bottoms on the front page every day and hide the “news” about Katy Perry, runaway brides, the latest victim of gun violence and the inordinately predictable results of sporting events inside and the Bikini Bottom News of Baltimore or the Bikini Bottom News of Los Angeles is a surefire circulation phenomenon.
The Daily Granite/The Daily Slab: The Flintstones
The town of Bedrock in “The Flintstones” certainly represents another time–another epoch even–compared to 21st century America. No, I don’t mean because the setting of this animated TV series was the Stone Age. I mean because Bedrock had two thriving newspapers, just like most real big cities in America at the time the show first aired. What today’s newspapers could learn from the fictional newspapers of this TV series is how to tailor the name of the paper to their times. The Daily Granite and the Daily Slab are newspapers titles that are a testament to the Stone Age. Perhaps today’s newspapers would fare better and extend their life by changing their names to something that resonates more with today’s generation. For instance, Arizona’s Winslow Mail could change their name to the Winsloe E-Mail. As for all those newspaper that are the Such-and-Such Gazette, well, who the heck even knows what a gazette is anymore? Why not the Cedar Rapids Tweeter or the New Hampshire Aggregator?
The Springfield Shopper: The Simpsons
See, the brilliant thing about this fictional newspaper from the TV series “The Simpsons” is that its name instantly grabs most people. The Shopper tells you that what’s inside is all about things you can buy. And since consumption of mostly absolutely unnecessary upgrades of products with built-in obsolescence is the only thing standing between economic stability and a completely financial meltdown of American society, renaming a newspaper with Chronicle or Journal in the name so that it now says Shopper just makes sense in the 21st century.