Photo Courtesy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35685156
In today’s time and age, when the world is going digital from print, Britain takes a bold step in launching its very first national newspaper (in print) after a span of thirty years. This initiative itself is commendable because of two reasons. First, a newspaper is brought out in print form, when veteran newsprints like The Independent is all set to wrap up its print edition and go online. Second, after thirty years a new newspaper is being launched. This only highlights the fact that for the past three decades, there has been a leading monopoly of newspapers such us The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and the like. However, with the society and consumer patterns ushering in the digital age, the monopoly of these print newspapers is staggering to maintain their identities in the consumer market. All the above named newspapers and many more have their corresponding online portals for news consumptions through mobile phones and computers.
This much talked about newspaper is called The New Day. Interestingly, it was launched on the 29th of February 2016, which comes once in every four years (and a date which would go down in history marking actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar win after six Academy nominations). The marketing strategy for this newspaper is very unique. On the 29th of February, it would be given away free to attract new readers. Thereafter, for the first two weeks it would cost 25 pence; following which it would be raised to ‘full price’ at 50 pence. Comparing a nominal fee of 50 pence with other newspapers costing over a pound, those who prefer newspapers to online consumption of news might want to give this paper a shot.
Coming to the paper itself, the publishers (The Trinity Mirror) have acknowledged the presence of the online news consumption. But they have justified their paper by stating:
“It has to be a new type of newspaper. And everyone can have a voice. Be they the Prime Minister or passer-by on the street. Because both deserve to be heard. Our stories will be selected to impress our readers, not to impress other journalists. We’re just fairly normal people who want to create a paper you’ll enjoy. ”
Indeed, the newspaper takes a fresh look on delivering stories to its audience. Instead of having a hard news as its top story, its front page adorns snippets of a feature story titled ‘Too Much Too Young’, a study based on the lives of the young children who help in taking care of their parents. The paper comprises all kinds of stories – politics, sports, research study features, opinion articles, photographs, activities and crosswords and even a quote of the day. But what sets it apart is its neutrality or impartiality. It puts forward all views on a certain incident or event and lets the audience decide for themselves which views to support.
Two articles that caughtmy eyes, were titled ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Would you help a child being bullied? ’. The former because, often we have heard how children must take care of their parents, but by children one certainly does not mean those falling within the age group of ten and under; and the latter because, bullying is a big issue in contemporary society. The aftermath of bullying could demoralise a person to such an extent that psychiatric help might be required or in worst cases it might lead them to commit suicides.
Out of curiosity (and University work) I have been to two different newspaper stores, one in the MediaCity and the other in Rochdale. The store supervisors in both the shops have given me a statistics of about three New Day being picked up by their customers out of the sample stacks of fifteen newspapers sent to them. Personally, even if the statistics might not seem very alluring, the newspaper was launched just today and it should be given some time to build an audience for itself. The success or the failure of this paper would only be seen as the time goes by, but for the initiative of launching it in print with no online website, the publishers should be congratulated for their effort.
Print versus digital is a much debated topic in contemporary media. What is your opinion on the launching of a purely print edition? It is a risk or an answer to the challenge the print media is facing from the digital media? Let me know of your opinions.