This week saw the launch of Britain’s first standalone national newspaper in three decades.
The New Day hit the newsstands for the first time on Monday (29/2), billed as politically neutral, a ‘new type of newspaper’ and ‘optimistic’.
As someone who started their career in newspapers and who has been greatly saddened by the decline in newspaper sales, I really want to like this new publication. Particularly as it was launched just weeks after The Independent decided there was no future in print.
But having read it for a week I’m pretty confused as to what it really is.
I should start by saying that The New Day looks great – a turquoise masthead helps it stand out and shows it is not aiming to compete with the traditional red tops, and it is packed with large images printed on pristine white paper.
It has also clearly tried hard to be different. Instead of an editorial section there is a ‘welcome’ note from the Editor, which you would normally associate with a magazine. There are also thoughts for the day, quiz questions and even a ‘personal listography’ section scattered among its 40 pages.
But for a newspaper it is surprisingly light on news, even for the time-poor readers it is clearly aimed at.
The news stories are essentially squeezed into just the first few pages – and there are so many ‘news in brief’ style stories shoehorned into pages 2 and 3 it is difficult to know where you are supposed to begin reading. You will in my view find more news in the Metro.
If you like sport this is really not the paper for you. It carries just two pages on the subject with no results, fixtures or match reports (even on Monday the day after the League Cup final). This ‘coverage’ is also lost in the middle of the paper rather than on the traditional back pages.
What you will find is lots and lots of opinion. Issues ranging from the ‘snoopers charter’, the impact the Zika virus will have on the Olympics, and a certain pop star’s love life have all been debated in details with various high profile writers giving opposing opinions.
There are also lengthy features on issues which are not often covered by the national newspapers, with topics ranging from the plight of albino babies in Tanzania and Syrian refugees on the Scottish island of Bute. Admirable content, but the right material for a quick read paper?
The back pages are filled with fairly standard lifestyle type features which look and feel very similar to those of some of its competitors.
It feels like a hybrid of the Metro, I and women’s lifestyle magazines and I’m not convinced it has truly found its real identity yet.
The New Day is certainly different, but it will be interesting to see whether that alone is enough to convince people to buy it daily.
Ultimately, 50p, the price it will revert to next week, feels quite a lot for little actual news or sport coverage.
Media First are media and communications training specialists with over 30 years of experience. We have a team of trainers, each with decades of experience working as journalists, presenters, communications coaches and media trainers. Click here to find out more about our highly practical Media Skills courses and presentation training.comments powered by Disqus