Guardian: 'No truth' to report it may end print edition

Daily Telegraph | Guardian

Katherine Rushton writes the Guardian is considering an end to its print edition. Her article's first sentence reflects the strength of her story's reporting:

Senior figures at Guardian News & Media are seriously discussing the move to an entirely online operation, it has been claimed, leaving [Editor Alan] Rusbridger increasingly isolated.

(Text bolded at points of remarkable ambiguity.)

Rushton does point out Guardian News & Media's struggles, which aren't unfamiliar to the rest of the newspaper industry in the U.S. or the U.K., but lands on a point entirely unsupported by reporting elsewhere in the piece:

Last year, GNM also looked at closing the £80m printing plant it opened seven years ago, and moving its Berliner printing presses to Trinity Mirror’s Watford plant.

However, it now seems more likely to stop running the presses altogether.

On Twitter, Rusbridger pooh-poohs the report:

In an email to Poynter, Guardian communications head Richard Lindsay calls the report “utter nonsense." He sends along a statement:

"There is no truth in reports that The Guardian intends to stop printing newspapers. Our newspapers generate three-quarters of our revenue and will remain the foundations of our organisation for many years to come. The management and executive of The Guardian and The Scott Trust Ltd have put in place a strategy that has enabled The Guardian to maintain its revenues and grow its audience to record levels. The Guardian is now the most read quality newspaper brand in Great Britain."

Indeed, in a speech last week, Padraic Ryan reported Guardian Media Group chief executive Andrew Miller said the Guardian's print products "accounted for 70 per cent of the Guardian’s revenues," as Ryan put it, adding that Miller said "the yield on digital was still 'way, way lower than newspaper.' "

Guardian media columnist Roy Gleenslade writes, "In Fleet Street parlance, this could be deemed a flyer - a story you run up the flagpole hoping someone will salute." I've never heard that term here in the States, but our media reporters are not immune to the temptations of that form.

Related: Guardian will survive because ‘we’ve assets outside of the Guardian,’ says chief exec | The Guardian will lose staff as digital transition continues

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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