What is the Guardian for?

Having read the changed online version of the Guardian in its new part-of-canada.com home for three days now, I’m wondering what the design criteria for the new site were.

Does the Guardian exist to deliver the news, clearly and effectively, or does it exist to deliver eyeballs to advertisers, using the news as a second-level excuse to attract said eyes their way?

When I worked at a daily newspaper, there was a clear and unequivocal separation of the editorial and design processes for the “content” and the ‘advertising” in the paper. The employees of each branch worked on different floors. In the composing room the ad paste-up and the edit paste-up were generally handled by two separate groups of people.

Each recognized the importance of the other, and there was something noble about the edit side — as much as people working for a small town newspaper reporting about the school board and traffic accidents could be, the editors and reporters felt that they were doing more than just helping the publishers making money.

The print equivalent of the design of the new Guardian website would be to run advertising on the front page filling up the entire space above the fold, Why is this okay?


dave moses's picture
dave moses on July 2, 2002 - 14:14 Permalink

because they’re the only ones paying for it.

Ann's picture
Ann on July 2, 2002 - 17:11 Permalink

The thing I find most amusing about the site is that they only put one local story on it until after noon…by which time, presumably, everyone who was going to pay for the Guardian had done so. I’m not sure I can figure out the point of the site anyway…it’s mostly wire service copy about other parts of the world — the only people I can see who would really use the site would be Islanders away who are checking the obits. THAT would be the page to advertise on.

Andrew's picture
Andrew on July 2, 2002 - 19:05 Permalink

I don’t pay for news anymore, and I don’t think I ever will again, not on PEI anyways. Not enough happens on Prince Edward Island to have to buy the paper. If the Guardian had better coverage I for sure might re-subscribe.

Speaking of news, has any one heard anymore on Pepsi buying out the locals bottlers? And whets takings Virtual Charlottetown so long to launch? Do we have a case of a virtual dead city that was never made public?