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Could the Monday MediaGuardian section go online-only?

October 9th, 2009Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

The Guardian is considering making its Monday media section online-only, according to its sports columnist Martin Kelner, speaking to Phil Williams on Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 5 Live show on Wednesday.

In a discussion about pay walls and micro-payments, Kelner said that the Guardian is ‘looking at the Media being an online section, as opposed to being with the newspaper’.

The Financial Times’ managing editor, Dan Bogler suggested that while newspapers like the Times or Guardian might not be able to charge for general news, or the front pages, they might be able to charge for niche areas, something he knows they are thinking about.

“The Guardian is big on media, is big on public sector jobs, if they bundled that content both print and online and charged for it,  I bet you they could. They might not be able to charge for everything they have but they could charge for certain parts,” said Bogler.

“Yeah well, definitely, Dan’s right – clearly he’s got the inside track on this,” Kelner said.

“The Guardian is looking at the Media being an online section as opposed to being with the newspaper and certainly that is one of the niches the Guardian could charge for.”

MediaGuardian recently celebrated its 25th birthday in print and is read by 525,000 readers every week, according to its advertising information; online it attracts 950,000+ unique users per month.

paidContent:UK reported in June that the Thursday tech supplement could be merged with the media section, or go online only. At that time, a spokesperson from Guardian News & Media (GNM) said they were considering merging the technology section with Monday’s media section – in print.

Speaking at the World Magazine Congress in May, GMG CEO Carolyn McCall, suggested that Guardian Media might be one of the areas they charge for in the future.

But more recently, as plans for the ‘Guardian Club’ emerged, the paper’s director of digital content, Emily Bell argued that a pay wall was not under consideration. “We are not contemplating a pay wall, nor as far as I’m concerned would we ever,” Bell told Liberal Conspiracy in August.

Update:

A Guardian spokesperson has said no such plans are being considered:

“Monday’s Media Guardian is a must read for everyone in the industry. It is highly valued editorially and commercially – we have no plans to transfer it to online only.”

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