IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community Vilakudy Days: IS THE BROADSHEET DEAD?

Vilakudy Days

Monday, September 19, 2005


The Guardian, one of the most respected and largest selling dailies in the world, has gone for a make-over. Probably, the market realities forced the paper to abandon the broadsheet – the very symbol of a mainstream respected paper.
The make-over from a broadsheet to mid size or what it is called as Berliner edition, is an attempt to recapture the diminishing circulation of the paper. In the process, this blogger believes, Guardian has thrown up many questions. Is this really the beginning of the end of broadsheet? Its editor declared on the eve of the new-look paper’s launch that the concept of broadsheet was dead. What does that mean? If the Guardian decides to abandon its format, does that mean it is the end of such a format? Guardian, let there be no doubt, is one of the best papers in the world. But that never does mean the format which it has been following is wrong or dead.
The decision follows a change in format of The Times and Independent. And despite its brilliance, other papers have eaten into its circulation and the gap has come down to as close as 77,000. Maybe, it has no choice but to follow the market rule. It would have been nice had it remained the same and recaptured the market and reinvented itself. YET, that doesn’t take the credit away from the new product. It is nice to hold, difficult to put down. The tabloid edition, euphemistically called compact, will be a hit with the young generation, in particular. The sports pages are sporting in a five-column grid. The world may soon follow the Guardian experiment, which has already been a rage in Europe. The Guardian effect may have its ripples in India. Some of the top newspaper editors in the country are self-confessed fans of the paper. It deserves every bit of the recognition and fan-following. That makes Guardian the Guardian. But as a serious newspaper reader, I sincerely hope the change will not have any effect on its content. Then Guardian will be the master of words again.
rajaneesh vilakudy


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