Last week the Guardian underwent a modest restyling, with several pages stripped back. As a consequence, our From the archive column will no longer appear in the print version of the paper (except on Saturdays), but we will still be posting it online.
While there’s more caché to having a column in the paper, there are advantages to working web-only.
- The word-limit isn’t as restrictive, so we won’t need to edit a good piece down to 480 words, or tack on an unrelated article if it’s too short (although we don’t want to start posting 1,500-word essays either).
- We can play around with the format, using strong graphics or images if we find them instead of text.
There’s some extra work involved in uploading articles straight to the web though.
- The pieces don’t run past a sub-editor, so we need to pay more attention to the copy, comparing it with the original article to make sure there are no missing words or stray commas.
- Sometimes we’ll have to write our own headlines, where the original doesn’t have one or has a poor one (19th century articles tend to be wordy).
I worked on the first batch of web-only articles last week and found a few errors in the texts. We’ve changed the rota to take that into account, so one person preps the article for uploading and someone else subs it, so hopefully we’ll catch most of the mistakes before we launch! I’ll be paying more attention to it when I find articles from now on, too.