The new-look Guardian: it’s cleaner, it’s better laid out, it’s
more colourful and it’s got a useful guide to what’s in the paper on
But is it better? Yes, difficult to argue with that. Do I like it
Well ... the question really is do I like it as much? Probably not - for
the moment at least.
The problem for me is that - a major insight this - it is different.
The big difference is not in terms of content or features. It still has
a healthy cynicism in its coverage of most stories which, of course,
allows it and its readers to adopt a slightly sanctimonious view of the
No, the difference is in its new-found efficiency. Will it, or indeed
can it, in its new guise continue to make the same errors that made The
Guardian famous, lovable and which have even generated their own section
in the paper?
For a Guardian veteran, this efficiency was always going to be
Remember, it was we who resisted the cleaner-cut and more fashionable
Independent when it first launched. There is a sneaking suspicion that
The Guardian is now after these Independent readers, possibly at my
But it is early days in the life of the new Guardian and even I would
accept that there are a lot of improvements. For example, they no longer
seem to move Simon Hoggart all over the place, the unnecessary Friday
sports section has been ditched and the middle of the newspaper is much
OK, I admit the paper is better and more user-friendly. And, most
importantly, my fingers are still reassuringly black after reading it.
However, next time they redesign it, I won’t like it then, either.
Jim Marshall is the chief executive of MediaVest.