Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Richard Jones

Richard Williams-Jones is a Lecturer in Journalism and Media and comments on the news that The New Day, which is the UK’s youngest national newspaper, is to cease printing after only nine weeks of being in circulation because of poor sales.

“”Life is short, live it well” is the slogan of the UK’s youngest national newspaper, The New Day.  Its own life is going to be shorter than anyone had imagined.

Tomorrow’s edition will be the last, just over two months after it first appeared in newsagents.  Circulation has been running at a rumoured 40,000, well below the target of 200,000.  It’s the quickest failure of a national paper since The Post in 1988.

Launching a new product in a market declining as steadily as newspapers was always going to be a challenge.  The New Day wasn’t just competing against other print titles, but also a much broader range of media sources from apps to the Facebook news feed.

But The New Day had two more specific things going against it from the start.  One was the product itself. It sounds obvious, but those people still buying newspapers do it because they want to get news, and The New Day just didn’t have enough news in it.  Similar newspapers which have launched relatively recently – Metro and i – have managed to still be quite news heavy, whereas The New Day was based more around features.

The second problem was the state of its parent company, Trinity Mirror.  It has other problems, not least impending payouts to phone hacking victims and large pension commitments.  With the stock price at a three-year low and an AGM today, management has been forced to act to help pacify shareholders.

There’s still a market for print, demonstrated by the continuing success of titles as varied as The Economist and Private Eye.  But with suggestions that The Sun might be the next paper to become free, even the biggest names in the newspaper business are going to have to adapt to survive into the 2020s.”

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