Philobiblon: The new Guardian: what do you think?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The new Guardian: what do you think?

The new "Berliner" (mid-sized) Guardian has drawn much scorn from my workmates (but then I do work for the opposition). Although it is only early days, I'm, however, quite excited by it. As Stephen Glover wrote in The Independent, the question is "whether this is the same old Guardian repackaged in a new form, or whether it has become a different sort of newspaper, possibly more upmarket or even more Establishment in its feel".

And I think the answer to that is that it seems to be going upmarket, or at least holding its ground, which in a newspaper market fast streaming towards the populist can only be a good thing.

There can be lots of technical objections to the design - it is certainly over-busy at present, and I do think the interaction of the heads with sub-heads wiith bylines is going to have to be worked on, but the overall message is that this is a serious, even heavy, paper. I'd like to think that can work!

They are, however, I'd suggest, going to have a big problem in newsagents with it falling apart - and bagging is a very expensive option.

Yet this all might in the end up being academic. What really matters for the Guardian is that it is the only paper that really gets the web, as evidenced by its remarkably open blog about the development and implementation of the new design.

It has made itself an international brand through its huge and fast-acting web presence - I often notice how often purely American sources cite it - and through that in 10 years it might be the last "newspaper" left, when all of the dead-tree versions have long gone.


Blogger Frank said...

You know, despite my Anglophilia, I don't claim to know a whole lot about the British newspaper biz. However, it always amuses me when I see all the complaints about how they're decaying and "not what they used to be." From what I can see, they're still incredibly dynamic and relevant in a way American newspapers just ain't. And, even with color and Berliner size, that Guardian front page has more print on it than almost any American newspaper. You guys have it very good.

9/14/2005 05:20:00 am  
Anonymous Celadon said...

I think it looks younger and funkier.

9/14/2005 06:38:00 am  
Blogger Ronnie Smartt said...

I don't like this frenetic flicking from page to page. i like to open a two-page broadsheet display and see at a glance all the things I don't want to read.

9/14/2005 01:52:00 pm  
Blogger purpleelephant said...

I'd have to give it a while longer to comment on how the content has changed but I'm quite impressed with the new layout. I actually think the broadsheet size was designed to be comfortable for the just under six foot male to read. Whereas shorty old me at 5'4 was always struggling to stretch my arms all over the place when turning the page! That's why I was quite impressed when the Independent shrunk to tabloid size.
My husband and I have been arguing about his all week as he hates it.

9/14/2005 03:20:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home