Don’t forget the website on Remembrance Sunday

In early November there isn’t a newspaper to be found on the shelves without a poppy on its masthead. Most titles incorporate it as soon as the British Legion collectors hit the streets and keep it there through Armistice Day to Remembrance Sunday. Curiously, however, the same isn’t the case for their websites. The Guardian and The Independent both went without a poppy; so too, surprisingly, did the Daily Express. The situation was even more pronounced at a local level: among ‘competitor’ newspaper websites in the North West, I couldn’t find one daily or weekly title which had added a poppy.

I always buy a poppy myself, in fact several when you factor in replacements and ones for different coats, but I’m not making any value judgment on this issue. I don’t think these titles are being disrespectful to our war dead, nor does it indicate their coverage of Remembrance inside the paper or online will be any lesser. But since all thought a poppy was important on their printed product, it’s curious that the websites don’t carry it too.

There could be many reasons: content management systems not geared up for changing logos easily; not having people in the newsroom with graphic design skills; the fact that on many smaller titles there isn’t someone whose first priority is the website so no one takes charge of it. I wonder, though, if editors at many titles are still so totally focused on their printed product that the website just didn’t come into their thoughts at all.

A subplot: I tweeted all the dailies in the North West asking why they’re poppy-less. Two employees of Trinity Mirror, owners of the Manchester and Liverpool papers, replied but no one from the other five did. Hopefully they were just ignoring my mischievous message rather than this being a sign that their Twitter accounts never being checked for @ replies. If that were the case, how many story tips, photos and videos are disappearing in the ether among all the queries and retweets?

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