Across the inner cities of the world, goes out the cry these days — has The Guardian completely lost the plot? Three weeks ago, the paper edition of what is increasingly a news site had a hefty 20% price hike, to £1.20 an issue — enough of a psychological barrier for many former addicts to wonder if we really needed it every day. Then editor Alan Rusbridger posted a “letter to readers” in which he claimed among other reasons for supporting the paper, the WikiLeaks/cablegate stories — months after its journalists had written a peekaboo book about the affair, traduced their source in numerous stories, and sold the book to Hollywood.

Now, news editor Ian Katz is sourcing stories on Twitter:

This seems to be the upmarket version of the ad The Sun used to run, and was much-mocked for — “Got a story? Call the Sun on XXXXXXXX” — but The Grauniad has gone one stage further, with the announcement that it will open its daily newslists for the next day’s edition, so that readers can help out with them.

Not only do you have to write the sodding paper on Twitter, you now have to edit it too. No word yet on how much of Rusbridger’s £400,000-plus salary will be distributed in the same manner. Perhaps eventually, like the state, The Guardian will wither away. It certainly seems to be the strategy of its current management.

Peter Fray

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