Latest Duckspeak: National Post v. Globe & Minion

“There is a word in Newspeak,” said Syme. “I don’t know whether you know it: duckspeak, to quack like a duck.”
—George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Postmedia readership tops all newspaper groups in Canada
Postmedia Network Canada Corp. is reaching more than 11 million readers on its print and digital platforms, according to a comprehensive new study.

The survey, released by Vividata, shows that Postmedia has by far the largest readership base of any newspaper company in Canada. Its weekly audience totals 11.1 million people aged 18 and older, including 8.1 million people for its newspapers.

By comparison, Torstar Corp. has 9 million adult readers across Canada, while The Globe and Mail reaches 6.9 million.
–National Post, April 15, 2016.

Globe leads the pack in digital reach
The Globe and Mail reaches more than 7.7 million readers across all its platforms, according to new readership data that show the audience for newspapers and magazines across Canada is shifting to mobile devices even as print remains popular on weekends.

Research released Thursday marks the first full-year results from a new venture, called Vividata, which surveys 38,000 consumers to gauge the reach of 117 publications across Canada.

The Globe recorded the largest weekly newspaper readership of any brand surveyed, at more than 7.4 million in print and online.
–Globe and Minion, April 15, 2016.


  1. [ or an earlier reference. Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916) who may have coined the phrase when he wrote:
    “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

    But you mean the
    “Duckspeak. a Newspeak term in the novel 1984, meaning literally to quack like a duck or to speak without thinking.
    Duckspeak can be either good or “ungood” (bad), depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying is in following with the ideals of Big Brother.

    To speak rubbish and lies may be ungood, but to speak rubbish and lies for the good of “The Party” may be good.

    In the appendix to 1984, Orwell explained:
    Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment.
    — Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
    An example of a skillful duckspeaker in action is provided in the beginning of chapter 9, in which an Inner Party speaker is haranguing the crowd about the crimes of Eurasia when a note is passed into his hand; he does not stop speaking for a moment, or change his voice or manner, but (according to the changed party line) he now condemns the crimes of Eastasia, which is Oceania’s new enemy.]

    This is not doublespeak: often incorrectly attributed to Orwell, it was actually coined in the early 1950s, and does not appear in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    And so much like these UNATTRIBUTED praise items, written by shamed scribes at their bosses beckoning.

    As it is, neither the paper-view, nor the electronic-view people read the adverts, notice them, or pay any attention.
    The Financial Times reported that BuzzFeed missed last year’s revenue targets by 30% and has cut this year’s targets by half, although that was disputed by Ken Lerer, the chairman of BuzzFeed’s board.
    And Jim Rutenberg in yesterday’s New York Times: “For News Outlets Squeezed From the Middle, It’s Bend or Bust.”

  2. And the Vivdata survey gets a (free?) $25,000 full page advert on Tuesday after.
    FULL PAGE = 2,800 LINES (10 COLUMNS x 280 LINES)

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