“In print, the Guardian is, even now, the ninth or 10th biggest paper in Britain. On the web it is, by most measurements, the second best-read English-language newspaper in the world. If the New York Times really does start charging for access, the Guardian may become the newspaper with the largest web English-speaking readership in the world.” — Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor-in-chief
Under Rusbridger’s leadership The Guardian already was becoming a leader in ombudsmanship. The paper’s newly established ombud, Ian Mayes, soon was elected ONO’s president. The newspaper went on to host a subsequent London meeting of ONO.
Just as significant is that The Guardian has been a consistent trailblazer in the online possibilities that U.S. newspapers in particular still are trying to get right. The latest exhibit is Rusbridger’s report that:
“In December the journalism we’re producing (was) read by 37 million people around the world – very roughly a third in the UK, a third in North America and a third in the rest of the world,”
Which gets me to The New York Times’ announcement that readers soon will have to pay to play — er, read — some of that publication’s content online.
“It may be right for the Times of London and New York, but not for everyone. It may be right at some point for everybody in the future, but not yet.”
Rusbridger’s detailed insight is worth a thorough read.
For additional ONO perspective, here’s my earlier post regarding our Harvard meeting, during which both Rusbridger and Jarvis spoke.
I’m hoping to see both again at our upcoming meeting in Oxford. Some good news in the meantime: Both report their newspapers are appointing successors; the Times already, The Guardian by the end of February.
In contrast, I recall from our president’s update during our last meeting that, with news ombudsmen already rare, readers of U.S. newspapers lost 12 in the previous year.
To my knowledge there no longer are any news ombudsmen in Florida.