Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In a decline?

Is the Guardian / Observer in a decline?




















Above:  The Guardian last Saturday had a front page article about the scandal of migrant children held at adult detention centres.  It was only after you had turned the page and read the continuation that it became clear that the events referred to 2004 and were the responsibility of the previous (Labour) government.  To misrepresent the facts in such a way is not a good sign of editorial integrity.




















Above:  The Observer last Sunday had a front page dominated by a non-story about how the Olympic games would interfere with ambulances taking sick people to hospital.  On Broadcasting House on Radio 4 Sunday morning they were openly laughing about this ridiculous front page (former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair was particularly scathing).  Does the Observer have such contempt for its readers that they think they can publish any old rubbish and have it accepted?




















Above:  last week Marina Hyde wrote in The Guardian about Rupert Murdoch and his plans to launch The Sun on Sunday.  Marina Hyde is usually never knowingly nice about anyone, but her piece about Rupert Murdoch was of such gubernatorialy-focused unctuousness that I wondered whether she was covertly asking for a job at the new publication.  A good editor should have struck this piece out.

In any case, I think it is going to be difficult for The Sun on Sunday to replace the disgraced News of the World.   The brands are totally different, and Rupert Murdoch is essentially launching a "me too" product (and as we know, me-too products seldom do well).  The News of the World built up its brand over 163 years, representing a huge investment in terms of brand awareness.

Just as QD Stores is struggling to replace Woolworths so I think The Sun on Sunday will struggle to replace the News of the World (unless Murdoch spends a fortune on television advertising).

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