Working for a daily newspaper comes with heavy expectations. The newspaper business is shrinking and newspapers themselves are shrinking with smaller pages, fewer pages and a shrinking pool of employment. So it’s to be expected that people have high standards for what they want. The only problem is that they still want it all. I do too.
As readers we want good news and bad, we want detailed analysis and quick humor reads. We want sports (lots and lots of sports), but we want a little fitness, health, travel, lifestyle… you get the gist.
Well, this piece was an eye poking bit of fun for me and fellow reporter Aisha Sultan. It took months and we still had to leave out at least half a dozen mascaras that we sampled. It was for the best. I think the 24 we tested fit on the page quite nicely.
Of course, we’ve both fielded a number of complaints that we should of tested this or why didn’t we test that or why did we do this dumb test at all. I’ve been pleasantly surprised though by the number of people who supported the test and the project in general. We got plenty of thank yous in spite of the handful of shame-on-yous. But one comment gives me great pause, a few said they wondered why male reporters didn’t cover beauty products. And they said that as if there was something wrong with two women writing a critique of a product line that literally sells billions of dollars of products to women (primarily). I don’t find that to be frivolity when you’re pondering a $30 tube of anything.