Mail and Guardian to battle for America

The Daily Mail and Guardian have long been at loggerheads in the UK, but now the battle for readers is set to expand to America, as both have revealed plans to expand editorial operations in New York.

Both Associated Newspapers and Guardian News & Media have kept their cards clutched firmly to their chests, but it is known that the former is to launch a SoHo office with the sole aim of boosting the Daily Mail‘s online presence in the US, MailOnline US.

MailOnline is also in the process of developing news operations on the West Coast, hiring staff from Los Angeles. The groundwork for the project has been done by a small and somewhat-covert team led by the “no-nonsense” MailOnline publisher, Martin Clark.

Meanwhile, the Guardian‘s plans are starting to come to light, on the back of former Guardian.co.uk editor Janine Gibson being put in charge of content for the American venture. The Guardian reckons an office will be open later this year.

Brand Republic’s Arif Durrani has studied the rationale for such an expansion by these two papers, concluding it’s “clear enough: both media groups have forsaken any kind of online paywall in favour of open mass reach, so expanding in the world’s largest and most affluent English-speaking market appears something of a no-brainer”.

And although both papers have vastly opposing target demographics, both believe they can increase readership across the pond. The Mail‘s Martin Clark told one conference that “when I was a kid I didn’t have lots of retail experience, but even I know that I’m going to have more chance of selling things in a shop visited by three million people a day, rather than one visited by a few thousand”.

The Guardian‘s editor, Alan Rusbridger, remains just as optimistic, buoyed by the sizable American audience Guardian.co.uk already attracts. “We believe there is real demand for the sort of open, internationalist, digital journalism which we have been pioneering,” he said last week.

The question is, which publication will resonate best with American readers? One thing’s for sure: the enthusiasm both publishers are showing for the expansion means it won’t be too long before we find out.

(Source: Brand Republic)

Photo taken by Flickr user joewcampbell, licensed under Creative Commons.

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