All in all, it was a pretty interesting article. Granted, it was reporting the results of research conducted by a newspaper organization. But I’m glad to hear any good news about newspapers, so it was good to hear that newspaper readership is growing sharply in developing countries. (And also that in this country, combined print and on-line newspaper readership is up, as well.)
But it contained a line that stopped me: “More adults read a newspaper every day than people eat a Big Mac every year.” Trying to process that comparison, I felt like quoting that Monte Python character: “My brain hurts!” I mean, I guess it’s impressive. Lots of people eat Big Macs, right?
Well, yes. Except for those who don’t have a McDonald’s nearby. Or don’t like McDonald’s. Or do like McDonald’s, but not Big Macs. But then again, we’re talking about a whole year, compared to a day. And basing it on people as opposed to the more limiting adults on the newspaper side of things.Which has its own uncertainties, of course. Are those on-line newspapers mentioned earlier included in the stat? Does reading a “paid” newspaper mean they bought it themselves? And lets not even get into the meaning of the results. Hmm…the way I see it, it implies that newspapers should attempt to improve their fortunes by encouraging more people eat a Big Mac in the course of a year!
All I’m saying, I guess, is that if you’re going to present some dramatic comparison, eliminate some of the variables, okay? It clarifies the relationship, and gives the comparison more impact.
By the way, did you know that there are more senior citizens with apple trees in their back yards than drivers with more than 79 cents in change in the console of their cars? At least I think I read that somewhere!