The Global Mail – a review

Front page of The Global Mail at 6.14pm WAT

I heard Monica Attard today on the radio talking about this new journalism experiment – The Global Mail – a new independent, not-for-profit journalism wet dream of a site.

No advertising, no subscriptions, fully funded by a philanthropic businessman who wanted to do something to protect quality journalism in a world where the profession is hacked by a reducing advertising spend, and a fragmenting media space.  Where “real” journalists are a dying breed.  Where interests of mega-media types of the Rupert Murdoch variety rule and competition comes not from other journalists but citizen reporters, bloggers. Where being first does not always mean being accurate, but nearly always means a grainy picture “or it didn’t happen”.  (Monica didn’t say all that I hasten to add, that’s just the vibe I got)

So what’s The Global Mail like?

Well really you should check it out for yourself but since you asked…

In one word… classy.

Nice font (open sans if you’re interested)… and nice and big for those blind as a bat like me.

Horizontal scrolling… which takes a bit of getting used to (I wish the little scroll thingy on my mouse worked to scroll horizontally) but was, according to Monica, so that their yet-to-be-developed app works better.

Beautiful imagery – make sure you look at the photo essays.  Gorgeous.

Writing – again quality stuff.  The sort of writing that makes you wish you wrote better.  Sigh… (moment of reflection)

Loved the article on the Superbowl – I’d never thought about sport in terms of countries like that.  Also enjoyed the Obama article.

So overall go The Global Mail… and if you’re ever wanting a Western Australian team member… 🙂

But I do have some suggestions… what you thought it was going to go all your way??

Did you not read your own article about bloggers who like to tell the truth and not suck up to people???

First, while I quite like the horizontal scrolling – I’d quite like to be able to see who has written the article and the title on each page.  It’s a pain to do the click click click thing to get back to the start.

And call me a flibbertigibbet, but some of the articles are very long – too long for my attention span… although if I was not online they would probably be perfect.

User generated stuff… what’s the deal there.  No comments when I checked in and yet very easy to send one in.

I would like to see a section on upcoming features that could call out for help in getting those stories.  Use citizen journalism for good not evil.

Small quibbles indeed.

Keen to hear your thoughts as well… and your thoughts on the need for this kind of website as well.  We have a national broadcaster with the same remit.  Is that not enough?

(My view is Bring. It. On.  The more journalism like this in the world – the better.  But I guess you figured that out.)