Comparing Newspapers to Online Publishing

In the past decade online articles and sites have been increasingly popular due to the technology boom. Newspapers are now not as popular because of this. The main question is though: will the rise in online publishing affect the sales of printed journalism? The Guardian, a print tabloid, covers both online and printed journalism, much like many other newspapers. In the years 1994-95 the paper began development for an online version of the publication, when the paper wanted to expand their readership and be accessible during the development of technology and the growth of the Internet.

Guardian Unlimited had over 2.4 million online users by 2001, according to figures carried out by The Guardian itself. The online Guardian Unlimited network of websites became a unified whole which started in the January of 1999. The Guardian online is the second most popular newspaper website in Britain, coming in behind the Daily Mail’s, Mail Online. Its printed form has an average circulation figure of over 215,000 papers being sold, after The Times’ and The Daily Telegraph’s 400,000 and 634,000 sales, respectively. The Guardian’s online browser numbers are in the millions, with nearly 3 million hits on the website daily, which shows the growth of the online audience to their minute number of paper-form readers which pales in comparison.

According to MediaWeek figures, http://www.guardian.co.uk is the fifth most popular newspaper site in the world (April 2011 statistics). The New York Times came in first, above the MailOnline in second place, Huffington Post third, Tribune Newspapers in forth place, and The Guardian rounding off the top five. Now that computers, technology and Internet are part of our everyday lives, and the use of Internet on gadgets such as mobile phones, iPhones, iPads, tablets, laptops, Kindles and so on, reading up on current affairs is much simpler to do using the newspapers website, a big part of that being that it is the free way of getting information.

As The Guardian is a daily newspaper, if somebody does not catch a certain story that would spark their interest to read from a past Guardian paper, they can search for the story online and read it there, this is a feature of online websites compared with printed newspapers. Another giant factor of the website being more popular than reading in newspaper form is the ease of use of the online applications. The Guardian has a digital edition of the daily newspapers that are published in print, which is available to the user when they subscribe to http://www.guardian.co.uk. The website has a mobile phone format so that it can be opened from a mobile, this makes it more accessible to people on the go. This simplicity attracts a wider market than The Guardian’s printed paper audience.

However, lots of people still prefer holding a printed version of a newspaper in their hands, as they are able to read a story and, if they find it particularly fascinating, go back and read it again. This is easier to do when The Guardian is printed as a newspaper. This could also be a case of personal choice and familiarity to an audience. If the reader is of a certain age where technology does not appeal to them, they would buy the newspaper version.

With The Guardian being more popular on the web means that the newspaper has much more of an audience on the Internet than of people buying the papers at the news stands. Journalists are hired to write for the paper just for Internet articles, the website needs to be much more up-to-date with information than the printed papers. As a result, focus will be kept mostly on the writing on the online articles being written. The online articles can also be updated more easily and instantly whereas if the print readers want more information on a subject they would have to wait until the next Guardian has been published, which would be the next day.

This newspaper was founded in Manchester, originally named The Manchester Guardian, by John Edward Taylor, with the first publication going on sale on May 5th, 1821; it was formerly a weekly issued newspaper until 1836, ultimately changing to a Saturday and Wednesday paper because of the reduction in Stamp Duty on newspapers. In 1855 the paper changed again to a daily newspaper, also because of the decrease of the Stamp Duty tax rate. Being the United Kingdom’s first full colour national newspaper was as ground-breaking for The Guardian as being the first newspaper to assume a mid-sized print format, adopting it from the Berliner Guardian in 2005. In 2008 the online website for The Guardian became http://www.guardian.co.uk. With their website having the subscription option and applications for the iPad, iPhone, and Kindle, The Guardian’s online world is growing exponentially.

Today, The Guardian has many Twitter accounts dedicated to the vast topics of news in current economy, society, environment, media, politics, and so on. Posting on social networking sites means that the paper can reach many different audiences and can spread their market to online users as well. The online audience of The Guardian can access the information much quicker and easier than the printed version readers. Due to the increasing rise of technology importance in our everyday lives, more and more people are using the resources on the Internet as a form of gathering the information that they want to read instead of making the effort of buy the newspapers and getting the data in printed form.

Harvard Referencing

The Guardian. (2012). The Guardian. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/. Last accessed 13th Nov 2012.

Guardian. (2011). History of the Guardian. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/gnm-archive/2002/jun/06/1. Last accessed 1st Nov 2012.

Arif Durrani. (2011). MailOnline overtakes Huffington Post to become world’s no 2. Available: http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/1066247/MailOnline-overtakes-Huffington-Post-become-worlds-no-2/. Last accessed 6th Nov 2012.

Guardian Media Group PLC. (2010). Interactive Timeline. Available: http://www.gmgplc.co.uk/the-scott-trust/history/interactive-timeline/. Last accessed 13th Nov 2012.

Twitter. (2012). Twitter. Available: https://twitter.com/search/users/guardian. Last accessed 13th Nov 2012.

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