The New Day, the first new daily newspaper in 30 years

DSC03142There’s a new newspaper on the newsstands, called The New Day. Must try and not use the word new again in this article – four in previous sentence.

Published by the Trinity Mirror Group, it was provided free on Monday, and available for 25 pence for the next two weeks, and 50 pence after that. There’ll be no associated website. So it’s purely a print publication.

The publishers have promised it support for nine months. Here’s what they say about the paper.

It will be pitched at people aged 35 to 55, people who want a more modern approach to news.

…you’ll find no political bias. In fact, we’ll give you both sides of the argument and we’ll let you make up your own mind.

We’ve no weekly columnists. But loads of opinions. All different.

And we’ll have good new not just bad. Like life.

Our stories will be selected to interest our readers, not to impress other journalists.

…with just 40 pages we’re dedicated to ruthlessly editing the world’s events. We’ll tell you everything you need to know without bombarding you.

Will it succeed? I hae me doubts. For news snippets there’s the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook,from which people under 25 draw their news. I think the I newspaper has their target market covered, and now that’s its found a new home with the Johnston Press, they’ll be keen to promote it.

Even though The New Day costs will be low, I can’t see it making money. Apart from straight news reporting, I want to read strong opinions, be they from Polly Toynbee, Richard Littlejohn, or Quentin Letts, which this paper won’t provide.

Oh, the damage that a tweet can do

It’s always been the case that when writing or saying things to a public audience one should always exercise caution. Before posting a letter, or pressing the send key on an email, there’s an opportunity to pause and reflect before taking such action.

It’s the immediacy of social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and so many more, that attracts. The penalty is removal of the necessary moment of reflection.

No better advert of this is with Labour MP Emily Thornberry’s tweet during her canvassing in the Rochester & Strood by-election. Whatever interpretation you put on her tweet [see below], most people, and the media, seem to have taken the most negative. It’s the fact that her ill considered thought was given immediate expression through Twitter and the consequent widespread public attention that became her undoing.  Just look at the Sun newspaper front page today [again below] to see the damage one ill considered tweet can do.

Emily Thornberry Twitter The Sun

Quality journalism debased

TGuardian article 22Jul2013he power of the blogosphere is a fearsome thing. None more so than in the Guido Fawkes blogs.

On Monday, The Guardian newspaper claimed an exclusive story of a serious lobbying ‘conflict of interest’ by the Tories election strategist, Lynton Crosby [click on image to expand].

How interesting that The Guardian’s strength in investigative reporting, holding truth to power, is found to be a hollow sham, by no less than the Guido Fawkes blog.

Here’s what you need to know about how a ‘serious’ newspaper seeks to mislead the reader, and by association the BBC.

  • The original Guardian article, erroneously implicating Lynton Crosby in another lobbying row.
  • Guido Fawkes exposes the tendentious nature of the ‘exclusive’ article.
  • The BBC naturally follows up on the Guardian article and the ‘shocking conflict of interest’.
  • Communications consultant Ed Staite describes the motives behind the Guardian’s article.
  • Guido Fawkes shows where the journalistic power lies, getting a graceless correction from The Guardian. 

Oh, how I love Guido. It’s surely no surprise that The Guardian’s newspaper sales are falling. When a ‘serious’ newspaper loses its reputation for accuracy, what’s left.

Thoughts on interviews, social media and local press

Being interviewed, mentioned in the two previous blog posts, offers a perspective on the role of social media in reporting on local community events.

In both cases I didn’t ask to be interviewed. The interviewer decided that the event was worthy of  record. The local press weren’t present at either event. I feel able to draw conclusions from the experience, which updates my previous thoughts in Is social media replacing the local newspaper?, and The future of newspapers and paid-for online content.

Sadly in neither case did I ask about the motivation of the interviewer. Never mind that, here are my conclusions:

  • Even though the local press offer limited coverage of local community events, a reader would need to visit very many websites to acquire the news that’s available in a single newspaper edition. So, currently in Surrey Heath local newspapers continue to a reliable source of local news, however imperfect it might be.
  • Technology for interviewing is small, lightweight, affordable, and easy to use.
  • The means of publishing is also easy to create, and in many cases free to use. There’s a multiplicity of platforms on which to publish, which presents challenges. However, cheap technology and publishing platforms present local news media with a realistic and strong potential challenge.
  • Overall, my conclusion is if the mainstream local press and media fail to offer regular, and effective coverage of local events, however newsworthy they may be, then there’s a big opportunity for new entrants into the market. It’s simply down to any new entrant being able to build a credible alternative to the established local media.

Is it likely to happen? Yes. Will it happen soon? I can’t tell. But, what I can say is that this week I was at the opening of the new Tomlinscote Vocational Centre, and they have a studio with broadcast quality TV and radio equipment, and post production editing technology. So, it mightn’t be too long before some bright student decides to start a local news business combining local radio, TV, and social media outlets. I hope it happens, because that’ll be good for our communities.

Update on the future of newspapers

Earlier this year I pondered of the future of newspapers in this digital age.

Since then our personal circumstances have changed. We no long subscribe to the Daily Telegraph, since my wife objected to a sharp rise in the subscription fee. Also, we’ve less time presently to get the full value out of a broadsheet newspaper.

Another thing has occurred that’s likely to delay our re-taking a daily newspaper, and that’s that we’ve acquired an iPad. We’ve installed the free apps from the quality daily papers, which means we can get a good flavour of the look of the front page and much of their content.

I don’t imagine that the iPad and its equivalents will see the death of the daily newspaper. But it’s going to make life much more difficult for newspapers to make money and survive over the longer term.

The ability to switch easily from seeing the latest weather forecast, continuing to read a digital book, and catching up with the latest news, and all with the convenience of a tablet computer make this a technical revolution that newspapers will have to adjust to.

Celeb gossip is a winner for the Daily Mail online

Amazing. The Daily Mail’s website is the second most popular ‘newspaper’ website in the English-speaking world, according to new data published in Brand Republic.

The results are, 1st: New York Times, 2nd: Mail Online, 3rd: Huffington Post, and the Guardian came in at number 5.