Since I last read the New Statesman around a month ago, they’ve revamped the homepage, reducing clutter and opting for the minimalist approach.
It’s really quite nice, I thought to myself. Then I went off and did something else, came back to the page, and thought to myself once more; ‘Since when did the Guardian use red headlines?’. Well, they don’t – I just couldn’t tell the difference, and had forgotten I’d had the New Statesman open. A quick comparison between the two reveals extreme similarities in the layout, and even the font used.
I wrote a paper for an MA last year in which I compared, amongst other things, similarities between the Guardian and the Telegraph’s homepage and online approach. In fact, althought these two are still quite similar, it’s getting even harder to spot real differences in approach to layout between major Western papers, be it El Pais, Le Monde, the Sydney Morning Herald or even, but perhaps less so, the New York Times. Interestingly, I read a few German papers from time to time and none of them seem to be going down the same route, be it the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine, the left-leaning Sued Deutsche or centrist Die Zeit.
As for the New Statesman, maybe it’s just another sign that what media convergence really means is as much about delivery of content, as to how it looks on the virtual page. Currently, ‘broadcasters’- that is organisations that focus more heavily on broadcasting than they do on their online approach – present their online information quite differently to ‘newspapers’, even though both are bound to feature a mixture of text and video content. Let’s bet that we’ll see more presentational convergence across the news-providing board just over the horizon.
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