EDITORS’ Blog: Should the Isle of Man Examiner change its shape and become a compact (or tabloid) newspaper?
That’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves very seriously over the last year here at Isle of Man Newspapers.
When I meet people socially who find out I’m the editor, I’m often asked why we are still a broadsheet. It’s harder to hold, it’s harder to read and it’s old fashioned, they say.
Not long ago, broadsheets were seen as more trusted, authoritative newspapers than tabloids. But things change.
When The Times and The Independent changed their shapes a few years ago in the UK, the attitude to smaller newspapers changed too. After all, the Daily Mail was then no longer the most high-brow tabloid.
Elsewhere in the industry in the UK, traditional weekly newspaper have been changing shape and going tabloid.
We wouldn’t change the format of the Examiner on a whim. We have conducted a lot of market research into the idea and produced a compact version of it.
We re-did October 5’s edition in its entirety. The only differences were that we added a made-up competition purely for a design exercise and a couple of photos corrupted so I used similar ones.
All the familiar features of the Examiner – the news, the sport, letters, the district pages, Terry Cringle and Harvey Briggs – are in the compact version.
If you’d like to see it, you can.
Some of my colleagues and I are going to the Strand Centre in Douglas on Sunday, February 27, from midday until 4.30pm.
You’ll have a chance to see the compact version of the Examiner and tell us what you think. If most of our readers want us to stay the same, we’ll stick with the current format. But if most of them say it’s time for a change, we’ll make the most radical changes to the Examiner that have happened in its 131-year history.
Anyone who pops along to the Strand Centre on Sunday will also have the chance to have a chat with us about everything we do.
This week’s Examiner is being delivered to newsagents’ shops as I write.
On page one, we have a story about the conviction of Stephen Darrow Callow for causing death by dangerous driving. He was found guilty by a jury.
We’ve spoken to the family of the man who died, Mark Penketh.
After the terrible air crash in Cork, Manx2 has become involved in a legal dispute.
Meanwhile, as postal workers are balloted on potential strike action, the Post Office has told us that the rumours that senior managers have been getting pay rises - in spite of the pay freeze – aren’t true.
Inside, we have a page on the decision by Onchan Commissioners to ditch kerbside recycling. The board’s decision is criticised by green groups and the government.