As I’m reliably informed in the launch issue of Media Weekly, fashion brands are the new brand thing (Lucy Aitken, page 11), I better ’fess up and lay my cards on the table. I am not a reader of The Independent. If The Guardian could supply all my reading needs I would let it. It doesn’t, so I don’t, but I do have a soft spot.
I came to Media Weekly therefore with no expectations. Good that there was to be another highly credible player commenting on the media, but would it be a readme too or would it be a read-me and an only read me? I like the cover of Media Weekly.
Yes, of course, these two publications exist to comment on the issues and strategies of media entities – who’s winning the circulation wars basically and, of course, battles to sell advertising.
Their focus is majorally the newspapers and we all know news papers are about serious matters.
However, as we also know, the media is about people.
And it’s here that I feel there is an interesting divergence. Media Guardian’s cover promised me participation in the great debate on the BBC’s purity as champion of public service broadcasting.
And the future of Panorama was the lead story. But in truth, a rather lacklustre logo of Panora- ma versus the future of The Daily Mail as discussed by Lord Rothemere – which promises a more gripping read? I’d say the latter, straight to the heart of power and our media.
Media Weekly’s cover sells its names strongly: Greg Dyke, Kelvin MacKenzie, Matthew Norman.
But Media Guardian sells the issues.
Yet the inside pages of Media Guardian seem to offer more of a read. By this I do not mean more weighty and more insightful, but more variety. In fact, more. Out of 14 editorial pages in the Media Guardian, there were some 17 pieces. In comparison, 21 editorial pages of Media Weekly offered 17 pieces.
I think this is what Media Weekly lacks as yet – a bit of pace The pages are often dedicated to one feature and I did feel as though some of them just went on too long. Harriet Harman would be the perfect example. “All political editors should ensure they have some women on their team and should groom them for political editorship.” Yes, right Harriet, just like that then. It feels like Media Weekly needs to be, well, a bit more media – more colour and drama.
Which leads on to design. As these are media pages, a plea: can we have some? Design that is.
Media Weekly is a touch dreary.
It is a dullard and a bludgeon in comparison to the neatness and lightness of the redesigned Media Guardian. So newspaper, particularly in its use, or non-use, of colour. I do like some of the attempts at the fripperies of media life – aka Inside Story – and I think some of the features in Media Weekly present a broader view of media – the Jane Root interview, for example. These do offer a longer read, but then Media Weekly has more editorial – something that is sure to change once/if the job classifieds take off.
So pockets aside, which publication will win media hearts? And there are a few to be won in magazineland since, although the influence of magazines is felt far and wide, in all types of media there is not enough acknowledgement of this in terms of column inches. So, more on magazines perhaps? In the meantime, I think I’ll be reading both.
Media Guardian 4 out of 5
Media Weekly 3 out of 5
Review by Jane Wynn, Editorial Publisher River Publishing
This article was first published on Media Week