When it comes to print, I’m quite old school. A reluctant Kindle adopter and a lover of the Sunday papers, I really like the idea of throwing caution to the wind and launching a new print newspaper. So I was pretty open minded about the launch of The New Day. But I’m also a realist, so I think it’s important to ask what the point is, who it’s for and whether anyone will buy it.
Firstly, who’s the target audience here? Flicking through it this morning I struggled to see where the Metro ends and The New Day begins. And if the aim is to provide a balanced round-up of the previous day’s news, I think I’d rather wait for The Week to come out to sum it up all at once.
If The New Day wants to present us with reasoned arguments on the events that matter, it should start with that from page one. Instead we seem to have a very odd mix of trite newswire-originated stories followed by an in-depth two page spread which feels strangely patronising – right, you’ve had your fun, we’d like to help you think now.
David Cameron’s head to head with the art teacher was quite an interesting piece, I can see how that would work. But it’s hard to fill a paper with that. And to follow it up with a for-or-against piece involving Cheryl and Liam – well, we really, really shouldn’t be paying columnists to give their opinions on this. Celebrity media is very well served as it is. For me this completely undid all of the effort put into the Cameron piece a few pages earlier.
So, far from throwing out all previous thinking which is what The New Day claims to have done, it feels to me like they’ve taken things from other news sources that they feel work well and tried to pull them all together. But in this case the end result isn’t greater than the sum of its parts.
The New Day needs to compete for our attention with existing papers, our phones, tablets, books, TV and the good old art of conversation. I just can’t see what’s going to compel people to ditch those in favour of this. The i already tried, and didn’t make it. Maybe, just maybe if it was free it might give Metro a much needed run for its money. But paying for it? Old news, I’m afraid.
Nikki is a director and co-founder of Fourth Day