The Guardian is one of the prime news sources in England, recently proving its worth when it shed light on the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal. The Guardian wants to tell the story of how it uncovered the conspiracy and compile its in-depth reportage on the scandal. That’s why the news source created Guardian Shorts, an eBook series that will compile many articles into comprehensive collections based on various subjects1.
Lisa Campbell of The Bookseller reports, “The series will feature topical news articles in several different subject areas such as sport, public policy and cultural events, with the first one entitled Phone Hacking: How the Guardian Broke the Story, which provides a ‘comprehensive account’ of how the scandal unfolded.”
The eBooks will be sold internationally for a small price (no price set in dollars, as of yet) on Amazon and iBooks. Some the eBooks will also be sold for free. The format for the shorts will be either a large essay of about 5,000 words on a subject or a collection of articles of up to 30,000 words.
The Guardian says, “If you are a frequent Guardian reader, it is likely that you will have read some of the content that appears in Guardian Shorts previously online or in print. However, each Short will contain new content, including a newly commissioned introduction or overview, a timeline of events where relevant, plus, in some cases, content from our extensive archive which goes back to the newspaper’s creation in 1821.”
This is a big deal for newspapers that are seeing dark times in the contemporary market. Many newspapers have shut down, and many more will in the future as the media world continues to shift towards digital. Newspapers would do well to adopt this sort of publishing initiative and I’m sure loyal readers would be delighted with the new content provided in these eBooks. This is a very important step for print publications as they open up a new market for their readers.