Eleven years into the 21st century (or ten depending on how pedantic you are) the West Sussex County Times has actually decided to think about moving into the 20th century. I have a track record of moaning about the ridulously large format of the WSCT and how impractical it is to read but I always imagined this was something that was not up for debate. Apparently it now it.
Not that they are definitely going to do it, but they are at least thinking about it and asking readers what they think. So far the poll on the website shows it to be a bit of a ‘marmite’ issue with 91% in favour of change, 9% against change and absolutely zero votes for “I’m not really fussed”.
That result surprised me at first. I had assumed that most readers actually liked the outdated format and in any case would take a conservative-with-a-small-c attitude of being against change on principle anyway. Then I rationalised it. I imagine that there actually is a large number of people against it almost by definition they won’t be voting in an online poll: they will make their feelings known by writing to the editor by hand, possibly even using goose-feeather quills to do so.
If it is decided to move to a tabloid format then the biggest impact would possibly not be in Horsham but in Crawley. If the County Times went tabloid then how likely would its clone, the Crawley Times remain broadsheets? And if the Crawley Times went tabloid then what would differentiate it from the Crawley Observer which appears a day or two earlier and has mostly the same content written by the same people?