In a move we can only call “Brilliant!” The Guardian has begun experimenting with long-form journalism in print, according to World News Publishing.
“Longer articles need a dedicated reader who has time to sit down – maybe with a cup of coffee and a newspaper in his hands rather than a screen before his eyes,” explain Jemima Kiss and Dan Catt of the Guardian.
The web-based news service used to publish their “long reads of the week” in various forms, to repurpose their best articles into a form that would provide longer exposure beyond the day of publication.
“We tried long articles in various mediums: screen, kindle, mobile and also print – which felt like a good fit,” according to Catt. “The Guardian publishes about 450-500 items a day, and we wanted to see if we could surface some of the more interesting ones,” he said about the new iteration of this idea.
What bubbled up is a 24-page tabloid weekly that contains up to a dozen two-page articles. Interestingly, the stories are chosen for inclusion in a very digital-savvy way, using a specific algorithm that takes into account word count, number of digital views, social media shares and reader engagement of the digital versions.
In other words, they are using digital metrics to help create an engaging print product. We love the intersection here of the two worlds, and hope to get our hands on a copy soon.
Kudos to The Guardian for recognizing that new ideas in format don’t always mean digital … and for recognizing the value of sitting down with a paper and a good cup of coffee.