Hardly Golden Times: The Guardian Now Costs One Pound

Tanya Gold in G2 is like the extra whipped cream and caramel shot on a Starbucks latte. In my opinion, aside from showcasing Germaine Greer's genius, Tanya Gold is currently the Guardian's strongest asset.

Has the Guardian endangered itself by pushing up its weekday price by 10p? The newspaper, which now costs one whole shiny pound during the week, certainly offers some of Britain's best news coverage. Although the main reason I buy the publication is for its sharp and modern-to-the-minute-funny writers in G2.

I got hooked on the Guardian while an undergraduate at Leeds, where it costs a rock-bottom 25p in the student union. In fact, there were usually at least four copies on the coffee table in the student newspaper office.... so even the slim-line quarter-pounder price was unnecessary to fork out.

Today however, as a poor and prosperous graduate, paying a pound a day suddenly seems like a lot of money for Hadley's upbeat and Socratic fashion Q&A sessions.

If I were to buy the Guardian every day now, it would cost me more than my phone contract and my broadband combined.

Talking of which, the Guardian can be read for free online, but let's not go into that debate again.

Admittedly, a 10% cover price increase from 90p to 100p is hardly going to put me on the poverty line. I didn't exactly enjoy a daily shopping spree with my change from the newsagent each morning. But the idealogical difference is quite significant.

One pound.


It's like the difference in Starbucks between tall, grande and fucking expensive: Just a few pence, but an eyesore nevertheless. Still, so long as a good chunk of my neat and tidy pound is going to Tanya Gold, then I am not too dishevelled. Tanya Gold in G2 is like the extra whipped cream and caramel shot on a Starbucks latte. In my opinion, aside from showcasing Germaine Greer's genius, Tanya Gold is currently the Guardian's strongest asset.

It is surely only a matter of months before the Guardian packs in its pages and lives happily ever after as an online newspaper. Okay, maybe a little longer than months. But the Guardian is increasingly an online affair. Many of my friends save their cash for their monthly magazine fixes, and simply click through the Guardian on their laptop.

There are three types of people who cannot live without a paper copy of a newspaper: Manual labourers, aristocrats who take afternoon tea in the garden, and poets. Only the latter read the Guardian and sadly the amount of poets who wouldn't skinny dip in the Thames for 10p can be counted on one gloved hand.

The only thing holding me back from becoming a fully-converted online reader is my love for the Guardian's (ever-thinning) Media supplement on a Monday. Where else is Annie Leibovitz taken seriously? I like Sam Wollaston's contribution to G2 on a Monday too, his TV criticism is as good quality as Private Eye's or even that of Radio Times.

I also buy a paper copy of the Guardian because I don't want to be one of those t**ts who takes their Apple notebook into a coffee shop and then sits cross-legged trying to hide their hard-on as they audibly gape over Charlie Brooker's baldingly boring cynicism.

Tanya's wit is worth the hard Gold pound that the Guardian are now asking for, but who else is worth the extra 10p? Is the new price a bad move in the long run? Why can’t Brooker bail the Guardian out with his new Ross-like TV riches?

I like the Guardian, but I cannot help feeling that it doesn’t like me. I’m sure they loathe punishing the customer for their struggles and grievances in the media playground. Still. Charity starts online. One more price increase and (in the episodical words of Deborah Meaden) I'm Out!

Even if Decca Aitkenhead gets an interview with Kate Bush.


  1. You seem to have lost your verve a little here.

    I read it online, but mostly because my doorstep delivery only runs to 'The Hindu'.

    Guess who.

  2. I got the Guardian today but couldn't find your Tanya Gold?? Which section is she in, G2?

  3. Benjamin J. O'Brien7 October 2009 at 19:29

    Hmmm... I don't think most people who buy newspapers are quite as interested in supplements as news? If so - a rather poor reflection on humanity!

    In RE to the actual point, I can't see the 10p increase making a very real difference. Its not like a 10p piece is useful for much beyond making up the extra 20p on a £1.20 bus fare anyway.

    I will stick to the BBC, not a huge fan of the whole concept of free press... It seems absurd.

  4. Anonymous - Lost my verve? Ouch. And doorstep delivery? It's the Guardian! Unlike the Mail, most of its readers can walk.

    Anoymous 2 - Yes, Tanya Gold appears in G2, the cool part of the Guardian. She also writes for other newspapers and womens mags.

    Ben - who reads the news?! As Dan Clark remarks "Ew - not the boring bit, you can put that in the bin, thanks".