Guardian Puts Web First: Or Do They?

[Keyword: ]. The Guardian, of course, has announced that it is to publish more stories online ahead of its print version. Great, lovely, super, as Jim Bowen would say.

But there’s a good analysis at Poynter, which picks up on the line saying that some stories will be held back for print publication.

“It remains to be seen how many Guardian articles will be treated as exclusive,
and thereby go “paper first.” … the really interesting shift will come when
exclusive stories — and I mean the prestigious exclusive stories — are
launched first on the site.”

The writer identifies “four distinct archetype models of publishing for exclusive stories:

  • Value Model: Exclusive stories are published first wherever the audience is most valuable.
  • Story Model: The exclusive story breaks in whichever channel is best suited according to that channel’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Speed Model: Any story breaks in the fastest channel.
  • Channel Model: A story follows the channel where it arose. (The good old nothing-has-changed model.)”

“In my opinion,” he says “The Guardian is trying to look like a “Speed Model” organization, while in reality they admit to being a “Value Model” organization. Or at least switching between the two. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that it doesn’t seem right to claim to be something you’re not. “

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