Magazine-like, women-focused, brave: Industry reacts to The New Day

PR professionals have given their initial reactions to The New Day, the new print-only newspaper from Trinity Mirror that hits the newsstands for the first time this morning.

The New Day: What does the industry think of the UK's newest newspaper?
The New Day: What does the industry think of the UK's newest newspaper?

The newspaper – which is billed as being politically neutral and with an optimistic slant on the news – has a front cover flagging up a report inside into the plight of child carers.

Sections include Today’s Big Questions, featuring two opposing views on a topical issue, in this instance the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’; and Everyone’s Talking About, a ‘listicle’ featuring subjects from the Oscars to Facebook’s new emoticons.

There are several ‘lifestyle’ sections with titles including Life Today, 11 Days in the Life Of, Life Out Loud (featuring an article by comedian Russell Kane) and 5 Smiles, adorned by pictures of dogs dressed in clothes.

There is a picture spread called The Bigger Picture, a section called Behind the News that features a report into how people react to a child being bullied, plus Health News and People News pages. The sport content is a double-page spread called 'Sport Essentials'.

The New Day is free today but there will be a 25p charge tomorrow and for the next two weeks, before it rises to 50p.

Here are some of the industry’s reactions:

Gavin Devine, CEO, MHP Communications

"It looks and feels great. They've promised top quality snow white paper and delivered on that promise at least. And they've signed up some high quality commentators and columnists for Day One.

"Trinity Mirror is probably doing something really clever. As they said this morning, although paper-based news is declining and digital is rising, there is still a market for paper, and the marginal cost of producing New Day is presumably quite low thanks to sharing resource with other titles.

"It is a lovely idea to deal with big issues - the double page on discrimination against albinos in Tanzania is high quality, and addresses such an important issue - but does it sit comfortably in the paper alongside ‎a full page argument about whether Cheryl and Liam's relationship is doomed?

"Bottom line is I'm just not sure whether there's ‎a market for this format. It's a bit like the Metro meets the Indy - in other words the kind of paper a slightly earnest media studies graduate would create.‎ Let's see how it sells."

Molly Aldridge, Global CEO, M&C Saatchi PR

"It presents lots of potential from a PR perspective – particularly on the softer news-gen front. There’s plenty of space dedicated to current affairs, news and celeb content although it’s clear to see that coverage is likely to be more news-in-brief than in-depth editorial – and definitely picture led!"

Dylan Sharpe, head of PR, The Sun

"The New Day has a bright, clean design that catches the attention but two things surprise me. The first is that, but for a digest on pages two and three, there aren't any real news stories - just features and opinion. The second is that their launch edition has no report from the League Cup final and the dramatic penalty shoot-out. It's going to be interesting to see if people are willing to pay for a newspaper with so little news and sport coverage."

Gavin Megaw, director, corporate and consumer, Hanover

"A New Day began with a bright start: a colourful layout, a strong suite of columnists and an emotive campaign driven approach – skewed towards women. Today was always going to be a success given the paper was free for all. The real test starts tomorrow when the public has to pay to read it. Can it disrupt the marketplace? The first signs are good, but I will reserve opinion until we know how many copies it sells in weeks two and three."

Ben Fenton, director of creative industries at Edelman, former chief media correspondent at the FT

"Trinity Mirror is looking for a new product, essentially: remember it even thought about buying some titles within Express Newspapers, so it isn’t a new ambition to spread its portfolio wider. Has it succeeded? I would say yes, in that this paper does feel radically different from anything else on the market, mostly because it doesn’t have an enormous amount of news in it! However, I admired its mission statement, especially that this was a paper written 'to interest our readers, not to impress other journalists'. That is a vital point.

"A concentration on human interest features and digested news may well work for busy people, but I’m not convinced they will pay 50p for it. It’s worth remembering that the 'i' has had considerable success with both students and older age groups, and Trinity Mirror says it is targeting 35- to 55-year-olds. The older age groups said they most liked the high story count in the 'i' - because it reminded them of papers they grew up with. The New Day does not satisfy that need.

"On the other hand, it is very well designed and very novel in its approach – sport in the centre pages is a fascinating departure from the norm. It’s valuable that companies such as Trinity Mirror experiment as much as they can, but I just hope they have the financial headroom to support it and give it a proper run."

Ranj George, UK head of consumer, Lewis

"It's great to see a newspaper trying to do something different, even though it seems to be taking some cues from the ‘i’ newspaper. You can see this right from the front cover, where it has focused on the plight of infant school carers, rather than the Brexit debate or the Oscars. However it will be interesting to see whether this translates into something its target audience are willing to spend money on when there are a plethora of alternative easy access free news sources. Also if it will trend in trying to be different for the sake of it, which may turn off those who want more mainstream news prioritised. It's definitely going to be a case of watch this space."

Darren Young, director, corporate, technology & public affairs, Ketchum

"We’re told that cassette tapes and vinyl are making a come-back, so why can’t a new print newspaper be a success?

"One of The New Day’s major claims is that it offers a more balanced viewpoint. This will give readers something different in a mid-market segment dominated by The Mail and Express. It could also make a welcome contribution to national debates, on subjects like the Brexit.

"The decision to invest in a good presence on Facebook and Twitter seems sensible, but the omission of a good website appears quite curious."

Francis Ingham, director general, PRCA

"Is it a newspaper? Is it a magazine? It's hard to say, but it's clearly something different. With upbeat attitude, big pictures and small stories, it has deliberately set out to occupy a different space in publishing. I doubt many people will buy it as their standalone source of news, but as a different take on the world, it might well have legs."

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