MEDIA: The directory and the Eye: An expert’s view

Morag Blazey settles down to a good and cheap read with the Saturday papers

Morag Blazey settles down to a good and cheap read with the Saturday


On Saturdays the Guardian sells almost twice as many copies as the

Independent. Consequently, the Independent has chosen to copy a very

successful element of the Guardian’s Saturday package and produce a me-

too guide, the Eye.

While the two products are very similar - arts, entertainment, TV and

radio listings - the Guide somehow feels funkier and the listings easier

on the eye (satellite and radio have a page per day). The Eye is,

however, true to the Independent’s promise and has more ‘features’, but

is that what people want from a portable entertainment guide?

Particularly when the Magazine and Long Weekend offer features and

opinions in a more readable format.

The Times launched the Directory into the fray as part of the new eight-

section Saturday package under the wraparound banner ‘the...newspaper

that makes your weekend’ which threw me slightly; was it actually

telling me not to buy a Sunday paper, even the Sunday Times? The Times

unashamedly claims the Directory was rushed through to compete with the

launch of the Eye and consequently advertised it as an entertainment


I was surprised to find a ‘low-fat cookery course’ on the opening pages

and the entertainment/ what’s on listings wedged on to three pages. This

left me wondering who it’s aimed at. The true raison d’etre is revealed

at the back with 28 pages devoted to TV and radio listings, which are

very comprehensive. This is the heart of the section, which appears to

be the old Vision upgraded, and hence not really a competitor to the


Neither the Directory nor the eight-section Times will bury the

Independent, if that is the aim, but they do offer great value at 50p.

Morag Blazey is a board director of New PHD


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