I buy newspapers. Lots of them. It’s not so much a habit as a necessity.
My wife thinks I’m sad clutching armfuls of them, but she accepts it as one of my foibles and tolerates it.
The shopkeepers still wonder why, but never ask the question.
But we do derive some benefits at Milne Towers other than the content.
Newspapers are a great way of sparking up our two coal fires as kindling as winter crashes into the Ayrshire coast.
Equally they are a great way of cleaning up the resulting ash, shredding for the compost heap.
Occasionally, adding to the pile of ‘notable’ issues that I store.
Front pages such as when the Scottish Sun came out and back the Nats; the Labour led Yes! Yes! campaign for devolution; death of Diana and so on.
Every so often I’ll stumble across them again, look at the changing styles, wonder what works best – the old or the new – and ponder bylines of old friends.
As I collected my bundle for the train to Glasgow this morning, I made sure to pick up the new look Daily Telegraph.
It’s a decent enough read, a mixture of light and heavy news. The politics are always good, especially the Scottish coverage.
But now, like many other papers, it’s just gone full colour this week – taking only 153 years to get there.
A switch to the News International presses has made it all possible, it would seem, and new colour coded sections to make it ‘news you can use’.
New looks for the Business and Sports sections are included, good use of images, all the stuff we newspaper geeks want to see in action.
But so too a by-line on the front page for Nick Britten covering the Foster Family Fire investigation in Shropshire.
Nick studied journalism with me in Edinburgh some 15 years ago now, and even then was a cool head.
He is a Derby fan, but you can’t have it all.
The new look paper managed to create prominence for the story on the front alongside the splash by using a colour picture big, and bolding up the text.
It has developed a youthful, fresh writing style that would sit at home on a student campus as well as with business types and average readers, while retaining those loyal to the brand.
And because it is a broadsheet, they have managed to include seven stories on page one along with all the puffery of the day.
Which remains interesting to me.
Yes, it was unwieldy to read on the train, yet still manageable.
They always were.
Now sticks out from the norm, since most other papers have gone tabloid already.
What I’m curious about, is will the Telegraph follow suit?
Not that I’ve been given any reason to believe they will. I just don’t take it for granted that changing the presses you use need necessarily be only to add some CMYK.
Presumably now that it is being printed by NI, it could go tabloid, sorry, compact if it wished and remain full colour, pitting it against the Mail, Times and Indy.
Having invested so much time money and effort on their website, could the sights now be turning back to print, and how the paper can evolve ever further?
Just one to ponder.