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Possibly the best daily newspaper in the UK
Member Name: anonbg
Date: 18/04/10, updated on 18/04/10 (45 review reads)
Advantages: Rich in content, treats audience like adults, in depth analysis
Disadvantages: Goes overboard in its advocacy journalism
I came to the Guardian relatively late in life - whilst some of my erstwhile fellow students were singing the praises of this broadsheet, I preferred to read the Independent, Telegraph or Times.
The Guardian has the usual broadsheet structure headlines on the front page that are as likely to be world stories as they are domestic. On the inside pages domestic stories, followed by foreign stories, business, comment and analysis and finally sport. However, the Guardian (like the Telegraph) does focus very closely on foreign issues and particularly on issues that concern us globally, whether that is connected to economics or global warming.
There is no secret as to where the Guardian's political sentiments lie - they are not necessarily tied to a political party, in this day and age when parties are so similar in their policies that is increasingly difficult for a thoughtful newspaper anyway. Nevertheless, it has a centrist, centre leftist political philosophy advocating civil rights, equal rights for women and so on.
Strangely enough despite the Guardian's reputation it does not in any way romanticise the old socialist ally of Russia. I find that the Guardian is perhaps more critical of the Russian government and its foreign policy than it is of western countries. In fact, as far as depth is concerned, the Guardian's coverage of Russia is pretty sound in this era of churnalism - when increasingly 'jounalists' sit in their rooms going through agency reports and rewrite 500 words pieces, as if it was their own story. An area I have followed consistently - events in the Balkans is covered by a journalist who now lives in central Europe, although he regularly travels to Zagreb, Belgrade or Sarajevo to be advised by trusted local journalists. Sadly cost cutting is something newspapers increasingly have to live with.
On another issue entirely - of animal rights, one might expect the Guardian to be a bunch of tree hugging hippies who would secretly sympathise with organisations such as the Animal Liberation Front, or at least their sentiments. Not a bit of it. In fact there are any number of opinion pieces published in the Guardian attacking those supporting radical actions in support of animal rights, almost to the exclusion of the other side of the argument.
Although when it comes to fox hunting the Guardian's columists won't be shy in showing that they are dead against it. Its not that I agree with any kind of militant agenda, I just believe that the Guardian is an adult enough publication to be able to give those with such an agenda an opportunity to express their side of the argument. That is the truest way a newspaper with the ethos of the Guardian should operate.
One of the things that makes the Guardian stand out among the broadsheets is the style and logo it uses on its print. It intially was one of the reasons why I didn't buy it - I preferred the more traditional look or that of the Indie. However, I changed my mind on this.
It is also a champion, it would seem, of new technologies - you often have columnists such as Stephen Fry waxing lyrical about the latest gadget he has got hold of. Sometimes its great stuff, upon occasion its a little tedious as the latest Apple product is showcased in such a way that can only have Steve Jobs and company marvelling at their luck in not having to pay for good PR / advertising.
The Guardian is one of only a few newspapers / websites that I read on a regular basis and I have found that it is an informative and comprehensive read. I advise anybody interested in reading it to pick up a copy of a Saturday as there are a number of supplements that always have something absorbing to read. Alternatively, take a look online.
Its worth 4.5 stars, but in the final analysis no newspaper is perfect, nor is the Grauniad, so 4 it is.
Summary: Grauniad continues to uphold high standards of journalism in pressing times