1. The paper doesn’t talk to readers as if they’re stupid. Guardian editors don’t assume that everyone comes to the paper with the same level of knowledge. What they do presume is a level of interest, a desire to engage with the topic. That seems like it should be obvious, but many newspapers are so busy chasing some mythical Everyreader that passion is often leeched out.Oh there are irritants. Curiously, the amount of space devoted to dance seems stingy for a city that offers so much dance. And the paper hasn’t yet figured out how to tap into its readership in more interesting ways. The social networking of Web 2.0, with all its user-generated community-building has so far eluded the paper. It would be nice to see the Guardian be even more experimental online, try some cultural debates and formats that better take advantage of the internet’s faster flow of ideas.
2. There’s a strong sense of world view. Contemporary culture is so vast and diverse that it’s impossible to make the claim that any newspaper is getting it all. Or even the best of it. But too many newspapers’ cultural coverage is a scattershot affair – a little of this, a little of that – so it’s difficult to know what exactly the newspaper believes is the place of culture in its community. The Guardian seems to have a sense of it. #
Still – the Guardian is by far the gold standard for cultural coverage on the internet. #