Last week saw the launch of The New Day, a brand new newspaper which says it aims to give readers – turned off from the current print market – what they are looking for in a concise newspaper. This is an exciting launch for a media industry reeling with the news of the closure of the Independent’s print titles.
My first staff job on a national newspaper was at the Independent in 2006 when I worked there as a business reporter but I was also on staff there last year mainly writing for the Independent on Sunday under the brilliant editorship of Lisa Markwell. My author page is here. So of course, I’m personally deeply saddened by the news of its closure and certainly the loss of jobs that this will entail for my talented colleagues.
Like many people I consume a lot of my news on the go on my smartphone these days – I enjoy reading articles recommended by my clever friends on Twitter and Facebook, but for me, nothing compares to reading the papers at the weekend preferably in the pub with a pint.
But times have changed. I recently taught GCSE English students at a girls’ grammar in the art of writing articles. I had been told by their teacher that, even compared to a few years ago, the pupils do not read newspapers and magazine and yet they may have to write one in their exam.
I asked each class what they did read and what do you think they said?
In almost every class many of the girls said they regularly read the Mail Online – which although I was initially taken back, is unsurprising given the website’s huge popularity.
So what does all this mean for communications professionals? It remains to be seen how successful The New Day will be and what will happen to the i, in its new home at Johnston Press. But there will always be an appetite for good stories and the media industry is innovating. A new launch means fresh opportunities to get your stories out there while digital press means that millions of readers can potentially hear about your products and services.