Sunday, 27 February 2005

Observer blog

I just glanced through the Observer blog (via Ben Hammersley). Talk about how to use corporate blogging - this one really lays out the guts of the process of taking a newspaper to press, and is quite open about the choices that have to be made, as well as how they respond to other newspapers:
Not too much to follow, although the Mail on Sunday story about Prince Charles is interesting. We'll change our royal coverage to include the claims in Gavin Hewitt's book on his life as a BBC correspondent to include his transcripts of Charles saying that the British people are obsessed with his private life.
It's really impressive what the Guardian and Observer are doing over from Farringdon, they're perhaps the most net-savvy of any major world newspaper. While the New York Times was up online early, they've made it really hard to access the archives, and they took forever to do something as basic as making URLs clickable. Whereas the Guardian and Observer have done such things as creating (very funny) live coverage of football games online with the writer responding to e-mails, which in substance if not form is practically live blogging. And their tech side has already got blogs up the wazoo, podcasts, RSS, and a del.icio.us web feed.

On the content side, they've gotten some of their major editors and writers to join in, although of course the key is sustaining their contributions to the blog. Check out columnist Nick Cohen's piece, which compares the British political blog explosion to the rise of punk.

I would hazard a guess that those outside the UK who only know the British papers by their web presence might think the Guardian dominates the broadsheets and the Observer the Sunday papers, whereas of course my former local newsagent on the Edgware Road would proudly display the Guardian, the Times, the Independent, and the Daily Telegraph, all side by side. So bravo to the Guardian and Observer.



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