Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Daily Telegraph Gets Back to Basics

Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Daily Telegraph Gets Back to Basics

Article excerpt

The arrival of the new Daily Telegraph on Monday caused a small frisson of excitement - and you haven't been able to say such an outrageous thing about the Torygraph for a long time.

Without resorting to funny foreign names like Berliner or a fashionable tabloid shape, the paper has managed to modernise in a way that is unlikely to upset even its most venerable readers. The package is rather attractive in a basic sort of way. A broadsheet main section, a 16-page separate broadsheet business section and, in a nod to the future, a 32-page compact sports section.

A quick flick of the revamped paper is enough to tell just how much the Telegraph suffered during the years of uncertainty over ownership after Hollinger investors started to wonder quite why Conrad Black had so many executive jets. The business section in particular was allowed to wither on the vine. From being second only to the Financial Times, the Telegraph was beaten into third place - at least - day after day by The Times. Now with new people, more resources and its own front page, it is Times Business, buried deep in the bowels of a tabloid paper, that had better watch out.

The Telegraph was absolutely right to resist the tabloid momentum, at least for now, both for its readers and the class of paper it is aiming to create. Maybe one day there really will be no choice if that is what readers want. But what if quality of news and content should turn out to be rather more important than format? Early days yet, but there are some signs that the circulation gains papers have enjoyed from moving to tabloid could be a temporary phenomenon.

In the old days, the Telegraph was noted for its reliably accurate news, sport and business. In a world where stories being spun and distorted to within an inch of their lives is commonplace, there might be a place for a news-paper that actually does what it says on the tin.

Politically, the paper should have an interesting few years to look forward to, particularly if the Tory faithful, many of them obviously Torygraph readers, opt for rebirth in the shape of David Cameron, the former director of communications at Carlton Communications. Cameron not only has political skills; it is not widely appreciated that his diplomatic sense is also impeccable. How else could he have survived 10 rounds with Michael Green? …

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