The 1821 version of The Guardian brings you the very latest news

Thursday, 2 June, 2011

See the format that people read news in almost two hundred years ago through a web version of The Guardian – or The Manchester Guardian as it was once known – that closely resembles the layout of the first print edition of the well known British newspaper, as it looked in 1821.

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Are newspaper articles too long for their own good?

Tuesday, 12 January, 2010

Do newspaper feature articles lose focus as a result being in-depth? While online reporting tends to be to the point and reasonably succinct, are the traditionally longer newspaper articles turning off readers?

One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory.

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The Toronto Star needs its editors more than ever

Friday, 13 November, 2009

A Toronto Star editor takes the red pen to a memo from management announcing the mass sacking of the newspaper’s editorial staff.

It begs the question, how does the paper hope to manage without them?

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Newspaper circulation declines unless you publish online

Wednesday, 28 October, 2009

A graphic depicting the decline – for the most part – in the readership of US newspapers since the 1990s. The Wall Street Journal makes for a very notable exception however, though its circulation numbers now include online subscribers.

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Specialist bloggers could help newspapers reinvent themselves

Thursday, 1 October, 2009

A four step recipe newspapers may be able to use to reinvent themselves, which includes utilising the services of an array of bloggers – as freelance writers – to provide content and opinion.

Find the best bloggers in the city, court them and recruit them into a partnership. Create a full view of your city: general news, crime, city hall, sports, entertainment and other vertical niches. Fill subject-matter gaps by encouraging experts to start new blogs. Ask an OB/GYN to write for your parenting site or an interior decorator for your homes site.

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Preserving old newspapers digitally for posterity

Monday, 25 May, 2009

The Australian Newspaper Plan is an ambitious (to put it mildly) project to locate and preserve as many Australian published newspapers as possible, and eventually incorporate them into a consolidated searchable online database:

“Newspapers were not inaccessible before but often you would have to travel from state to state for newspapers from capital city or rural areas,” said Richard Waterhouse, professor of Australian History at the University of Sydney. “This is not only going to make sources more accessible to academic historians but also for family historians who will be able to flesh out the story of their own family by finding references in local newspapers.”

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Blogging will be a relatively short lived phenomenon

Friday, 22 May, 2009

Thomas Baekdal traces the history of information sharing and looks at how we might be communicating in the next five to ten years. If you think a lot has changed in the last twenty years, you ain’t seen nothing yet…

If you wanted to get the latest news, or tell people about your product, you would turn to the newspapers. It seemed like newspapers would surely be the dominant source of information for all time to come. Except that during the 1920s a new information source started to attract people’s attention – the Radio. Suddenly you could listen to another person’s voice 100 of miles away. But most importantly, you could get the latest information LIVE. It was another tremendous evolution in the history of information. By 1960’s the two dominant sources of information was LIVE news from the Radio and the more detailed news via newspapers and magazines.

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Imagine compiling a publication when you couldn’t cut & paste

Friday, 24 April, 2009

It occurred to me while reading this article about printing a newspaper – a campus newspaper in this instance – before the computer era, was the total absence of the “copy and paste” facility… surely the most under appreciated function computing has given us.

As a first step in producing the Daily Titan, an editor (Gail Rhea) makes up an assignment sheet, using a device known as a manual typewriter. A marvel of mechanical engineering, this gadget was a true EPA Energy Star: it used no electricity whatever. A skilled journalist could write a story at a rate of perhaps 60 words per minute. But none of the original keystrokes could be preserved: someone would have to retype the story again to set it in type, inevitably introducing new typographic errors in the process. By the early 1970s publishers everywhere were beginning to buy video display terminals linked to typesetting computers so writers’ keystrokes could be preserved and copy editing could be done electronically, saving an enormous amount of labor.

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Did design save the old Eastern Bloc newspapers?

Thursday, 2 April, 2009

Polish architect turned designer Jacek Utko talks about how he revived the fortunes of a number of flagging east European newspapers by significantly altering their design and layout.

Are there lessons to be learned by western newspapers from his work?

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The Media Misery Index doesn’t make for hopeful headlines

Tuesday, 10 March, 2009

The Media Misery Index: a summary of US newspaper circulation, revenue, and staff numbers and figures from about the last ten years.

If you doubted the landscape was changing this will certainly put you in the picture.

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