Yesterday I posted about how the UK’s major newspapers refer, or rather don’t, to their journalism on the web, tablet and mobile. I suggested that better signposting of content on other platforms would, over time, lessen the impact of a decline in newspaper sales and help drive online users.

With that in mind, I decided to do a bit of an experiment to see which of nine newspapers flagged up digital content best in their Diamond Jubilee editions on Monday. This blog forms part one of that experiment.

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1. i

An odd one, in one sense, because it’s only 56 pages, meaning space is at a premium, nor does it have it’s own website to push (something I feel it’s reluctant to do as it tries to establish its own identity). However it’s still surprising that the i paper doesn’t refer to the tablet edition or mobile app and only makes one cursory mention of the website (‘More comment on independent.co.uk’ at the bottom of page 14) which I presume is static page design anyway. There are ads for traditional media, like a print subscription and iJobs, the new jobs platform, but that aside, it’s bare – and that fact I had to search to see if i had an iPad app shouldn’t need to happen.

2. The Independent

Like its sister paper, The Independent doesn’t use print as a starting point, more of a end game. There is the odd small reference to the Twitter account of their journalists, notably @rhodri and @steverichards14, but again there’s no mention of their iPad app or mobile apps. Bizarrely, the URL in the masthead is the only mention of anything on any other platform until page 35, when an inch square prompts readers to go to independent.co.uk/dilemnas to leave a comment about Virginia Ironside’s agony aunt column. Blink and you really would miss it.

3. Daily Express

As you might expect, there’s not much showcasing of digital content going on in the Daily Express. There’s room afforded to several reader offers, including wraparound sunglasses, and Daily Express property, their revamped house finding site. But it’s two cases which show the lack of digital emphasis at the Express: firstly, the puff for their tip ten tips for improving your pension goes to an error page (see pic) whilst a reader poll on whether the UK should bail out Greece is conducted via text and phonecall using a 35p per minute phoneline. I can’t imagine the results ever yield much or get fed back into the next day’s paper.

4. Daily Mirror

At least with other papers, they put the URL of the website on the front page out of courtesy. The Daily Mirror doesn’t even do that (possibly because of its recent issues) instead putting it on page 23 next to the customer services phoneline (see pic). Any space in the front of the paper is dedicated to puffs to content further on in the paper including ‘Dear Coleen’ with Coleen Nolan and Dr Miriam Stoppard’s ‘Health Focus’. A very traditional layout indeed and possibly a reason why their traffic isn’t particularly high (although saying that mirror.co.uk did have a 13% rise in daily unique browsers in April, thought to be those returning after the aforementioned technical issues)

5. The Sun

The best by far out of this lot in terms of signposting digital content but still lacking. Bizarre’s URL is writ large in their masthead on page 19, there’s a prod towards the freesunbingo.co.uk site on page 28 and a call to support GB during the Olympics with #cheer4GB. Actually the best cross pollination of print to digital comes on page 11, where the reschuffled Page 3 invites readers to go thesun.co.uk/page3 and view the girls in 360 as well as having a browse on the Sun iPad app.

Tomorrow I’ll take a look at Daily Mail, The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph – in the meantime, please leave any comments below.

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  1. [...] With that in mind, I decided to do a bit of an experiment to see which of nine newspapers flagged up digital content best in their Diamond Jubilee editions on Tuesday. This blog forms part two of that experiment (part one can be read here) [...]