The Sunday Guardian, a weekly newspaper promoted by veteran journalist MJ Akbar (who is also the Editorial Director at the India Today group), has launched its website, reports Exchange4media. The online version of its 20 page supplement Guardian20 will be launched three weeks from now. The Sunday Guardian was launched on January 31st 2010, and is also published in the UK as India on Sunday.
Usually, the challenge for weeklys is to incorporate daily updates, since, although the shelf life of content online is longer than in a newspaper or a magazine, the long tail effect kicks in within a few days. To address the issue of recency of news, The Sunday Guardian is trying incorporate some freshness, by adding content from agencies, like this PTI story. surfacing stories that are ‘Top of The Day’ and user comments. It needs to sort its internal linking out though – too many page-not-found errors: it is in beta. It’s also surfacing interesting video content from YouTube (like the now famous Conan O’Brien Amex commercial, and this fabulous wingsuit video). Unfortunately, recommended reading (“Other Stuff We Like) has been pushed right to the bottom of the site. In terms of ad units, the site has two 300×250 banners for the homepage, and none on the post pages. Users need to sign up and log in to comment.
The opportunity that The Sunday Guardian is eying is essentially of reaching out to a wider audience, given that the publication is still in its infancy. There is no better means of marketing a publication than great content, frankly. It should, however, look to add value on top of the agency copy that it is using, because that content is common to multiple publications, and often delivers no differentiation. There’s a lot that can be done with content that most Indian media organizations miss out on, because they still work with a print mindset: there are no editorially curated internal links, no timelines for content, no external linkages. The Sunday Guardian can take inspiration from how the Guardian does content online, or for that matter, from blogs.