Russia: 'Good news day' decimates website's readership

  • 4 December 2014
A man buying a newspaper from a self-service machine in Moscow
Image caption Bad day for good news: Readers of one Russian news site were unimpressed with happy headlines

There's a reason why so many local newspapers focus on crime and accidents - and a website in southern Russia has found out the hard way.

The City Reporter, based in Rostov-on-Don, says it lost two-thirds of its readers after deciding to publish only good news for just one day. "Do you feel like you are surrounded by negative information? You don't want to read the news in the morning?" the website had asked its readers. "Do you think good news is a myth? We'll try to prove the opposite tomorrow!" On 1 December, as promised, the website carried only positive headlines. "No disruption on the roads despite snow," declared one. Another announced that an underpass would be built in time for Victory Day.

But as uplifting as they were intended to be, the good news stories sent readership numbers plummeting. "We looked for positives in the day's news, and we think we found them," wrote deputy editor Viktoriya Nekrasova on Facebook. "But it looks like almost nobody needs them. That's the trouble." The following day, the City Reporter decided to return to more reliable staples: car crashes and burst water pipes.

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