Re-launches are always a tricky business. No-one really knows what
the effects of a sudden change will be on the readers. So far the
Mirror’s new masthead and internal re-design appears to have arrested
its circulation fall and the title promises a rosy future.
Alongside this hopeful readership news, the new look has finally given
the paper’s women’s section a chance to shine with a re-design of its
own and a range of new features.
Heading up Mirror Woman is Jane Johnson, the section editor and a woman
with a solid journalism background. Johnson has worked for most women’s
magazines , including Chat as well as newspaper supplement magazines
like the Sunday Telegraph.
During her time on Chat she scooped the nation with the tragic story of
the anorexic Kendall twins, one of whom later died. It was her
background in stories of that type that attracted the attention of the
Mirror and Johnson was given a feature writer’s job.
While working as the paper’s feature writer Johnson got the chance to
interview David Copperfield just as the magician was on a profile
raising tour of the UK. ’It was hilarious,’ she says. ’He was so
determined to nail every rumour there was about him. He said he was
desperately in love with Claudia (Schiffer) and that his tan was 100 per
cent real.’ She sighs.
’He was a very difficult interview.’
Once she moved over to edit Mirror Woman, however, she cut down on
writing and got stuck into commissioning.
According to Johnson, the Mirror’s women’s pages try to get a female
perspective on a range of stories from rape to HIV to the plight of
low-paid nurses, and tries to include as many real-life stories as
At the same time the pages cover health, fashion and beauty following a
timetable: Monday is fitness, Tuesday is health, Wednesday and Friday
are consumer and Thursday is fashion.
The re-launch gave Johnson the opportunity to re-think the design of
Mirror Woman and to make it more like a women’s magazine in feel.
There’s more room for health - which Johnson sees as a priority - and
the new pages give her a chance to do fashion properly. She is keen to
keep the pages in a state of gentle revolution, provided, that is, it
keeps to her core agenda of maintaining a positive view of women.
’Since the re-launch, we’ve been able to include new features, like the
relationship feature where we hear from both sides of a couple,’ she
’We’ve also been able to up the campaigning side of the pages. Recently,
we kicked off an anti-stalking campaign on the women’s pages that spread
to the rest of the paper and, I like to think, helped pressurise MPs
into starting the recent changes to the law,’ says Johnson.
Reporter, Southport Star
Feature writer, Chat
Commissioning editor, Bella
Feature writer, Daily Mirror
Editor, Mirror Woman