Nobody would buy the Metro

This MediaGuardian article is speculating as to whether or not The Daily Telegraph is going to go down the route of publishing a ‘lite’ tabloid version alongside its standard back-breaking broadsheet.

My opinion on newspaper formats is this. Being a muesli-eating, hand wringing beardy liberal type, I of course think that the Berliner format is the best. It strikes a fine balance. It is not large enough to be painful to hold and it is not small enough to squeeze out all of the stories in favour of a sensationalist headline.

Mind you, I do prefer the tabloid size to the broadsheet. Not that this is a problem for me, as all of the tabloids are either not really aimed at me (The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star…) or are unbelievably dull (The Scotsman, The Times, The Independent).

I have had free copies of all of those three papers thrust into my hands at university, and I’ve never been tempted to buy a copy of them the next day. You would have thought they’d choose interesting editions to give away to students, but no. I don’t like any of the daily papers anyway, so I guess I’m just too picky.

Anyway, here is the point of this post. A paragraph from that MediaGuardian article (remember that? I almost forgot) about the possibility of a Telegraph lite:

The cut-down compact – half the size of the broadsheet and half the cost – would also allow the paper to find out how much its older readership is antagonistic to a compact Telegraph. A Telegraph “lite” may tempt Daily Mail and Metro readers.

Aaargh. No! Nobody buys the Metro. The Metro serves many functions. Informing the public isn’t one of them.

The Metro is a free paper that people pick up in the station in case they are caught short and there is no bogroll in the toilet. I bet most people don’t even realise they’re picking up the Metro in their bleary-eyed state on a dark morning, half-asleep. I assume Associated Newspapers actually intend to perform a public service by distributing the paper, because if you weren’t asleep you probably will be by the time you’ve read some of it. This ensures that the British public arrives at work well-rested and fully refreshed, all set for a productive day’s work.

I hope the people at the Telegraph Group aren’t getting their hopes up by aiming for Metro readers. Unless, of course, the Telegraph lite is soft, strong and very, very long. They are scuppered already though — only the broadsheet is very, very long.


  1. Hey now, the Metro is useful for other things too…

    I use it to poke people who can’t work the barriers at Waverley in the morning on amateur’s days…