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03 MARCH 2012

Open journalism: the newspaper is moving beyond a newspaper

"If the story of the Three Little Pigs broke today, how would a modern newspaper cover it? That's the concept behind a new TV ad for The Guardian, the newspaper's first major TV spot for 25 years.

The spot launches a campaign to promote the paper's 'open journalism' approach–its name for the way in which it is attempting to involve its readership in not just commenting on stories, but contributing to and even determining its news agenda. 'Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,' said Alan Rusbridger, editor–in–chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media. 'The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.'

The launch ad examines the way in which the tale of the Three Little Pigs might be covered by The Guardian today, with all the different forms of content and different channels that implies. It also seeks to get over the way in which stories develop over time as new facts come to light and the effect of social media on switching the focus of coverage and debate.

An epic two–minute version (shown above) debuted on Channel 4 last night.

Comparisons will inevitably be made with 1986's classic Points of View by BMP (indeed the Guardian itself has said that the new ad is a 'nod' to the old one. They share an endline: The Whole Picture).

But while Points of View got over its message succintly and elegantly, Three Little Pigs is less focussed, less pithy. This can be seen as a reflection of the changing nature of media–newspapers are now less about relating THE story and more about acting as a platform for multiple strands around a topic to be explored by multiple participants, including the readers themselves, in real time. But it makes for a less memorable piece of advertising storytelling.

'The aim is to reach progressive audiences and show them why they should spend time with us,' according to Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Guardian's parent company Guardian Media Group. But you have to wonder whether such progressive types would not be aware of what the Guardian is doing anyway? The ad will probably make existing Guardian readers feel better about themselves, but will its slightly daunting complexity attract many new ones?"

(Patrick Burgoyne, 1 March 2012, Creative Review)

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TAGS

adadvertisersauthorityauthorship • Bartle Bogle Hegarty • BBH (advertising agency) • bloggingcitizen journalismcoverageCreative Review (magazine)debate • depth of coverage • digital firstdigital publishingend of printjournalismmediamedia convergencemedia landscapemedia paradigm shift • news editor • newspaperold media • open journalism • open software • printprint mediaprint publishingpublishingpublishing model • range of coverage • readershipThe GuardianThe Whole Picture • Three Little Pigs • traditiontransformationtruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2011

Guardian launches Facebook app

"The Guardian has launched a new Facebook app, becoming one of the first newspapers to launch a product alongside the social networking giant.

The new app, unveiled at Facebook's f8 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, will allow the social network's 750 million users to read guardian.co.uk articles without leaving the social network. The guardian.co.uk network of websites includes MediaGuardian.co.uk.

The Guardian is one of a number of media organisations to launch partnerships with Facebook at this year's f8, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Spotify.

'We know that a lot of Guardian readers are keen Facebook users, and vice versa, so we wanted to create a news experience that was native to the Facebook environment,' said Meg Pickard, GNM head of digital engagement.

'The app draws on the social functionality they are already familiar with to highlight and discover quality Guardian content, and makes users' reading experience more personal and relevant.

'We've had a presence on Facebook for some time, but working with them to develop this app as a Facebook Open Graph launch partner has demonstrated that it's possible to get the best of both social and news worlds. We can also engage new readers who may not already be frequently interacting with the Guardian brand, who can now discover our excellent content via their friends' interactions.'

Christian Hernandez, director of platform partnerships at Facebook, said: 'Since Facebook Platform launched four years ago, innovative companies have been transforming industries by rebuilding products through social design.

'The Guardian is rethinking how people consume news online through its new integration with Facebook, making it easier for people to discover the most relevant news through their friends.'

The Facebook app is part of Guardian publisher Guardian News & Media's shift to a digital–first strategy and comes a week after it launched its new US website homepage out of New York."

(Josh Halliday, 22 September 2011)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Individual output would be no more than that-an individual output

"The social demassification of newspapers–targeting an audience of one–is made possible by physical demassification, and it is no less problematic. The immutability and mobility of print on paper across a society (ensuring that the 'same' news is available to everyone at roughly the same time) turns items into 'social facts'–common to a broad readership, not merely selected by individuals. If news items were gathered individually out of a vast data base, even if the resulting copy looked like a conventional newspaper, imitating its fold and front page headlines, it would lack the social significance that arises from editorial juxtaposition. A senator is disturbed to find his or her scandalous behavior splashed across the front page not because the story is news to him or her, but because it has become front–page news to 100,000 other people. The newspaper is essentially, as Anderson (1991) described it, a 'one–day best seller' (p. 35)–and, as with a best seller, the point is that 'everyone' is reading it. The personally tailored, genuinely unique 'newspaper' selected privately from a data base–the ultimate outcome of the social and physical demassification of the newspaper as we now know it–offers neither physical, nor social continuity. Each individual output would be no more than that–an individual output. The juxtaposition of the senator and the pork bellies would then be not a composite, if oblique, social fact, but merely a result of personal serendipity."

(John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid, p.24–25)

1). 'Lionel Luthor Reading Newspaper'

2). Brown, J. S. and P. Duguid (1994). "Borderline Issues: Social and Material Aspects of Design." Human–Computer Interaction 9: pp. 3–36.

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TAGS

Anderson • audience of one • borderlinedemassificationdistribution • editorial juxtaposition • expression • genuinely unique • headlines • individual experienceindividualisationJohn Seely Brownmass societymassificationmedia spacenewsnewspapersPaul Duguid • personally tailored • physical demassification • printreadershipshared discourseshared understanding • social continuity • social factssocial fragmentationsocial glue • social significance • the Daily Me

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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