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Summary:

On the day The Times and Sunday Times start requiring payments for their new websites, The Guardian has devoted its top above-the-fold promo…

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On the day The Times and Sunday Times start requiring payments for their new websites, The Guardian has devoted its top above-the-fold promo strap, usually taken by teasing its own features inside, to wryly differentiating itself from News International’s papers…

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And here’s the somewhat-different feature The Sunday Times published over the weekend (maybe it one should have been marked “opinion”?)…

It’s not the first time lately The Guardian has run marketing spots that take jibes at rivals — it recently ran this dig at The Independent‘s new owner (a confusing swipe, since Lebedev has committed to retaining independence, has created an investigative reporting fund and is a noted press freedom exponent in his native Russia).

The Guardian has lately taken pains to stress it’s not “ideologically opposed” to charging for news. But key people have spent some time setting their strategy of “mutualisation” against News International’s of commercialisation. And running this spot today certainly looks like a solidified position, even if The Guardian‘s mobile app and digital replica are anything but free.

It’s not just in front-page print spots The Guardian is differentiating from The Times

In today’s announcement it has signed a legal blogger, BabyBarista, who made a stroppy point of quitting The Times over its paid strategy last month, and that it will give free content to WordPress bloggers are clearly timed to wring maximum strategic juxtaposition. (For what it’s worth, one might have seen the blogger move coming a mile off, since Guardian.co.uk launched a Law section, on which BabyBarista now will be writing, a couple of weeks before his departure from The Times.)

There’s also this…

And this righteous welcome to what The Guardian hopes will be a swathe of incoming Times refugees will likely stir animosity.

GNM lost £57.9 million last year, while Times Newspapers lost £87.7 million. Guardian News & Media will now need to focus on making its own strategy of free pay.

Perhaps our favourite of the day is this cheeky take from oli_pendry — a point that both publishers can unite behind…

Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.

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  1. With Washington crawling with spies, the Washington Post investigative people ought to be busy. The problem is being a spy pays better. Better days are ahead, so they say. The kids are busy playing with explosives all weekend here. Boom boom boom times are ahead.

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