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Guardian launches new look paper

LONDON (Reuters) - The Guardian newspaper is launching a revamped, compact version on Monday in a move to attract new readers and fend off the growing threat of freesheets like the Metro.

The Guardian is moving to a smaller "Berliner" format, which is slightly larger than a tabloid and is currently used by continental European newspapers such as Le Monde. The shift follows similar downsizing from its rivals the Times and the Independent, which have both taken readers from the Guardian since going tabloid.

The Guardian's readership fell to about 358,000 in July, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Britain's so-called quality newspapers once used their size to set themselves apart from the lurid headlines and topless women of the tabloids. Now only the Telegraph and the Financial Times remain as broadsheets.

Newspaper executives say that compact papers appeal more to commuters and younger readers, who increasingly get their news from television or the Internet. Nevertheless, Britain remains one of the world's most cut-throat newspaper markets.

"The challenge for us was to remain true to our journalism ... while at the same time finding a modern print format for a new generation of readers in this country," Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger said. "We believe we've found it with the Berliner format, which combines the portability of a tabloid with the sensibility of a broadsheet."

Free newspapers like the Metro, owned by Daily Mail & General Trust, have forced newspapers to innovate, and even so most national papers have struggled with steady declines in readership.

Date posted: September 12, 2005 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 74