Wednesday, October 03, 2007

La Vanguardia has a redesign

And very nice it looks too. I’ve written here before about what a great newspaper it is and this week’s redesign makes it even better.

New colour presses have prompted a much better use of bigger photos and graphics, while the overall size has been cut down to the same as El Pais. Large elements of the former design (co-authored my Milton Glaser I learned) have been retained but it all looks crisper, brighter and more modern.

What I like about the paper is it doesn’t beat up its readers each day by screaming at them how awful their city, their region and their country is. Instead it explains it to them and let’s them come to their own conclusions.

It reports soberly and crisply on difficult issues such as immigration, violence against women, education, spiralling housing costs and so on. Its journalists see themselves on a mission to explain, rather than sound off and bend the facts to fit their viewpoint. International news is at the front and the sugary stuff about royal children kept to pink pages in the middle.

It’s a sharp contrast to London’s Evening Standard which has until now beaten its readers into submission about how foul their city is, how dreadful their mayor is. It’s depressing and apparently they have now embarked on a mission to be more upbeat.

Local papers should never be unquestioning cheerleaders for their city. But they have a duty to reflect the way their readers enjoy themselves as well as telling the story of what can be improved. Any publication worth its salt should like its readers but not many do. La Vanguardia is one of the few.

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