Since the turn of the millennium and the unstoppable rise of the internet, the newspaper industry has been on a slippery slope to the grave.
But a new kid on the block is hoping to reverse the downward trend of print, capturing the time-poor, information-hungry new generation and pulling them back to print with snappy content and upbeat reporting which internet news outlets are so good at. This new daily newspaper is ‘The New Day’.
As ad revenues slump into the doldrums and everyone’s attention span diminishes to 30 seconds, long form newspapers have declined. In-depth articles, opinion and debate all now happen online with smart phones and tablets the medium of choice for news for the majority.
When it comes to content, newspapers were always the ultimate in print, far exceeding magazines for reach and wielding an almighty power that could end a career or overthrow a government. But now, as the Independent closes its print offering and opts instead for the online route, it seems that the daily newspaper is seriously under threat and will not recover.
But wait… all is not lost.
A brand new daily newspaper has been launched this week by Trinity Mirror called The New Day.
With a remarkably female-heavy team behind it, The New Day is capped at a closely controlled 40 pages and provides a non-gendered, non-bias, non-political and above all positive presentation of the news. The emphasis is on presenting the story from all sides and allowing the reader to make up their mind.
Editor Alison Phillips issued a bold mission statement on twitter saying: “Online has changed society immeasurably. We’re now in a world where news and opinion is shared. And newspapers can learn a lot from that. I think we need to engage with our readers as equals rather than some faceless organisation telling people what to think from on high. And we need to be honest that news – like life – is rarely, if ever, black and white. It’s generally a bit complicated and messy so let’s embrace that and try to help our readers unlock it.”
This statement epitomises what The New Day is trying to do.
The New Day uses ‘normal’ language and presents a positive outlook on the news. It is short, snappy and uses strong photography and infographics to present an ‘internetised’ version of the news. It ensures that the modern reader with the 30-second attention span can quickly read the newspaper, dip in and out of articles and make up their own minds.
The first issue was free but it will carry a 50p cover price and with its size and lighter content it does seem to be in competition with the free Metro newspaper. However, The New Day presents a new style of newspaper; Roy Greenslade at the Guardian describes it as “part Metro, part i, part women’s magazine and – fair to say – a distinctive daily paper.”
The first issue has been generally perceived to be a success, but time will tell if the time-poor audience will bother to pay for it. After all, despite pay walls on many news sites, there is still plenty of free news across the internet so can a newspaper with a cover price really compete with a free worldwide resource? It’s not yet clear whether The New Day will revitalise print newspapers, but its new direction emphasises just how important short, considered stories and a clear ‘people’s voice’ can make content more accessible to a wider audience via the old-fashioned printing press.
Would The New Day tempt you to make the return to print? Let us know over on Twitter.