The Gazette is asking its readers about moving toward more tabloid sections.
There’s precedent for this. Lots of serious papers are considering the move to tabloid format, mostly because of the perception that tabloids are easier to manage on public transit (where you can’t get the Internet cheaply) and due to the success of other papers like the free dailies which are in the tabloid format.
In a survey given to select readers, Montreal’s only English daily asked about theoretically changing its daily Arts & Life section from the current broadsheet to a tabloid format, and about whether people would prefer shorter, “easier to read” articles. It doesn’t look like they’re going to become another Journal de Montréal, but it still got readers riled up. Most of the responses fell into one of the following:
- Tabloids are easier to read on the move.
- Tabloids are junk, yellow journalism and I’ll cancel my subscription if you switch
- I don’t care about the format, as long as the quality doesn’t suffer (all of these responses recall the Gazette’s “words matter” motto)
- I hate the Sunday paper, lumping three sections into one and putting classifieds in the middle of a two-page feature story in sports.
- Put the staples back into my TV Times!
Currently, only three sections during the week are tabloids at the Gazette: Sunday Sports, Books (Saturday) and West Island (Thursday), and the first two of these date only from the February 2006 redesign.
We’ll see what they’ll do. What do you think? Should the paper be of a smaller format? Should the stories be shorter?