A Guardian editorial column is read by how many?

Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Rod Liddle has the answer: “A Guardian editorial column is read by about 100,000 people, 0.1 per cent of the population. It does not matter. And nor does double that number signing a petition. It is time the right wised up to this and acquired from somewhere the semblance of a spine.”

That’s from “Your Twitter history will always haunt you — if you’re on the right” in The Spectator, and Liddle is fired up:

“Just hypothetically speaking, I think it is entirely possible that one could be appointed to a senior position within a left-wing party despite having demanded honours for IRA murderers, supported genocidal terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and proclaimed an affection for a totalitarian communist dictatorship in, say, Cuba which imprisons trade union leaders and persecutes homosexuals That’s just hypothetically speaking, mind; I can’t know for sure.”

The Guardian offers its platform now to those who have glorified Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA, along with apologists for Cuba, Venezuela and every other awfulness that the Left endorses. And things can only get worse now that the newspaper has downsized to what it once despised: the tabloid format.

It was a very different Guardian, however, that crowed with confidence in 2005 when it switched from broadsheet to the “Berliner” format. Then editor Alan Rusbridger praised it as “a modern print format for a new generation of readers” combining “the portability of a tabloid with the sensibility of a broadsheet.” To pursue this vision, the Guardian Media Group invested (wasted) £80 million on specially commissioned Berliner printing presses. Today, The Guardian and its Sunday title, The Observer, have gone tabloid and, what’s more, the group has gone from printing papers on its own presses to outsourcing the job to Trinity Mirror.

The Guardian made a loss of £45 million in the year to last April and this unsustainable “burn rate” cannot continue. The endgame is obvious. The paper will follow the ghastly London Independent out of the print business and into the online shark tank where clickbait is the only currency that counts. There, it will compete with everything from The Huffington Post to The New York Times for eyeballs with faux outrage and lots of “Wow!” From an ignominious present to an ignoble future is the path of The Guardian.

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