Since we’ve come back from Morocco, I haven’t been reading an offline newspaper. The local paper, the Victoria Times Colonist, is pretty mediocre. We sometimes get The Globe and Mail on Saturday, but that’s the extent of things.
While in Vancouver this week, I’ve had the chance to look through a couple of copies of the Vancouver Sun. I was interested to page through the front section of Friday’s paper. I snapped photos of the front page and pages A3 and A4. Look for the little portrait shots of the columnists:
Here’s what I was struck by: in the three (I assume) most-read pages of the paper, there were more column inches given over to editorial commentary than hard news. The same is true, as I look at it, for Saturday’s front page. It features three stories–one news piece and two editorials. I’m hesitant to use the term, but I’m struck by how bloggy the Sun is looking these days.
Is this evidence of the paper’s recognition that it is not, first and foremost, a source of timely news?
I was chatting with a reporter at a regional newspaper the other day, and she commented that her periodical was “circling the drain”. I have little sympathy for newspapers, because their operators were handed every opportunity to lead the web-based new media charge a decade ago. They declined, and they’re suffering the consequences of playing catch-up. There are obviously exceptions–The Guardian springs to mind–but too many papers seem to be clinging to an expiring paradigm.