Like most people who commute, I end up reading the Metro every day. If it was a paper that I had to pay for, I probably wouldn’t read it, because it’s just so bad! You can definitely tell it is owned by the Daily Mail’s company, from the tone of the stories.
In the last few months, there has been a bit of a shake up of the central sections, with a bit of a redesign (thankfully not so much on the iPad app) and some new sections added in. One of the ones that was added was a tech section.
I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a bit of a nerd, so I was quite happy to see this new addition. Until I actually saw it. There’s usually a large story, then a smaller section where items are reviewed.
The larger section is usually talking about some new technology or some sort of event, so things like what was shown at CEX, the Boeing Dreamliner 787 and its rival, the Airbus A350, and how cloud technologies will be used have been featured recently. So far, so good. It’s aiming at a wide audience, so it’s not going to be overly techy, but the articles in this main section are more likely to encourage further reading if you were interested.
(click all images to read them better)
The smaller section is called “Gadget Girl” and is (obviously) written by a female – which, if you haven’t seen the section might seem like an irrelevant thing to note. The writers full length photo takes up about half as much space as the article itself – I have to wonder if this section was written by a male, would the same size/style photo have been used?
When I first noticed this section, it was just after New Years, and was reviewing items that can help you lose weight. (How cliche) I say reviewing, but it sounded more like a rewrite of a press release. That’s a pet hate of mine on blogs, but in a national newspaper where someone is getting paid to write? Ridiculous.
I had hoped that this was a one off, but – well, here are the past few weeks worth of columns.
Other items to help with typical New Years resolutions – being more organised (get a new handbag!), lose weight (a power plate at Ã‚Â£5000 – because the average commuter reading it can afford that?), quitting smoking (not that the writer would do anything so disgusting, of course, but so her friends can quit and stop leaving her alone in the bar) and drinking less (glasses with the units marked on the side. If you need something that tells you how many units you’re consuming, perhaps you’re not grown up enough to be drinking.)
Detoxing – so a juicer, a blender and a light treatment device to help your skin were talked about.
Travel essentials – this article was almost useful, talking about an iPad keyboard case (which I’m sure is very useful to some people, but having tried to use a keyboard with an iPad, it seems very pointless), a universal travel adaptor (actually very useful, we already have a similar sort of thing), a camera (of course, it’s pink, with its “chic finish” being a selling point above the quality of photos), a charger and an app to help reduce data usage abroad (which seemed to be squeezed into the end – I don’t actually know what the app does or how it does it)
Valentines day: I can’t even.
(Aside: Who the hell is Poppy in the last item? Don’t use a bloody national newspaper to do shoutouts to your mates)
“Oh, Oscars are this week. What can I tediously link to and write briefly about nothing?”
With this section, Metro has both insulted women that understand and enjoy new technology and journalists who probably would love the opportunity to write for such a large audience. Even non journalists actually – hey Metro, I’m available for hire! I love tech! I can wear a pretty dress and look rather nonplussed at the camera!
I think I’ll just have to go back to reading Wired and .net.