The Guardian turned their back on investigative journalism and went for columnists (that write columns concerning the agency news). This was decided years ago and last year there were more cuts to the budget, so even more agency news and flim-flam columnist nonsense.
How can the Guardian compete when they are just churning out the same agency news stories as everyone else?
Opinion pieces from a select few columnists worked fine in the days of print but it does not cut it online, people are not that bothered about what their columnists think.
It is too late to turn the sinking ship around, the rest of the Scott Trust money will be thrown down the same hole and it will be game over, with cycles of cutbacks along the way. At the moment the chickens are coming home to roost, a friend in the Farringdon area recently took on two refugees from the Guardian, or maybe they were 'rats leaving the sinking ship'. In former times the Guardian would be the company you would want to work for, not flee because the writing is on the wall.
Had they done it differently and actually done the independent reporting and investigative journalism instead of the agency news with columnists, then things could have been different.
Nowadays the 'please donate' deal sounds a bit like 'give us some money then we will do this investigative journalism stuff, honest'. It is back to front and not as if they really believe honst money can be made from honest journalism - everything is someone else's fault.