Media Profile: Tabloid woman for the Millennium - Jane Johnson, editor, Mirror Woman

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.

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

possible.



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

explains.



’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.



HIGHLIGHTS

1990

Reporter, Southport Star

1992

Feature writer, Chat

1993

Commissioning editor, Bella

1995

Feature writer, Daily Mirror

1995

Editor, Mirror Woman



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