Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Traditional Sunday

Catpee has a first hand account of travelling across Belfast during last night's riot.

I was a trifle shocked to learn yesterday that the Guardian, Britain's last broadsheet, is to be reformatted. I'd been feeling rather smug as a Guardian reader since the Times became a tabloid, because I felt that's what the Times deserved to be: twenty-odd years ago, when I was a law student, I read the Times because of the Law Reports. Then Wapping came along and of course I stopped reading it and settled down with the dear old Grauniad. I'd occassionally read the Times when they gave it away free on planes or trains, and noticed that it's declined shamefully as a newspaper under Murdoch's loving care. And so it wasn't much of a suprise when it followed the Independent in turning tabloid (and as for the Independent, incidentally, it's very worthy and a great cure for insomnia).

And now the Guardian is to become not quite a tabloid, but a "Berliner"; which is perhaps a compromise. According to the crack, they've been losing readers because people don't like broadsheets anymore.

Indeed. The smugness I felt when the other broadsheets went tabloid had a touch of "Hi look at me, I read a grown ups' newspaper," I must confess. I'm sure the editor and the bread-heads in suits at the Guardian have done their research and it's right that people find broadsheets hard work: there was an incredibly patronising remark in the article I've linked to above to "female and younger readers" being attracted to a smaller paper. Fuck's sake.

Now I'm wondering, is this another example of the infantile World of Numpty we're descending into, or am I just becoming grumpy and middle-aged?

There's a really good article in the Guardian website about blogging and capitalism waking up to it. (I think you have to register to read the Media Guardian part of their site, which is a pain in the arse, but worth it in the long run; they haven't spammed me since I signed up, anyhow).

So that's traditional riots in northern Ireland reappearing, traditional newspaper sizes disappearing, and the traditional theme continues with roast beef for lunch later today: unfortunateley, I won't be going the whole nine yards and doing yorkshires because I forgot to make up the batter last night, and the secret of a good yorkshire pud, let me tell you, is to rest the batter in the fridge over night. I'm having a go at Hugh Fearnley Whatsit's roast potatoes, though. The spuds, cabbage, neep and onions are all homegrown, by the way ;-)

Herself's in the huff for no discernible reason. This is unusual. I wonder if Something's Happening... The Expected Date of Confinement is only a couple of weeks away, so theoretically it could be.