I love the idea of The New Sunday Herald.
And here, from a post I wrote for this blog back in August 2009, my reasons why:
“While I love them dearly, while I think some will survive, the fact of the matter is that newspapers are fast becoming an irrelevance.
They are no longer the preserve of news.
They are life-style documents, written on dead trees in a style that suits best our tastes, laden with columnists to help form our thinking, stylist telling us what to wear, puzzles that won't tax us too much.
To put it bluntly, they are a lazy way of trying to keep tabs on what else is happening outside the bubble of our own lives.
But those behind them are not.
Journalism need not be eroded because the delivery vehicle is past it.
It can adapt and strike out for new opportunity.
Newspapers can and should still be used for in-depth analysis, for instance, almost magazine like which may be the idea behind the leaked plans for The Observer.
Quality journalism, repackaged.
How else is a paper supposed to compete when before the ink is dry hot off the presses the front page is being shown and discussed on Newsnight, Sky, radio round ups before being ripped off, tweeted and blogged across the globe?
We keep hearing the mantra about content being king.
But surely in this trade of ours we have to be first with that content and perhaps just as importantly, better with it too?”
My thinking hasn’t changed. If anything, this helps reinforce it. There is a place for great news coverage, but across the platforms.
I don't mean newspapers aren't important, because they are.
They just can't always be the first place to break news stories anymore.
Instead, they must be adapted for the flesh they can breathe upon the bones of a story.
But I also think it will be the beginning of the end for the printed version of this particular title.
To my mind, the design very much has tablets – or iPad – in its sights for the future.
Unless there is a sudden boost in circulation, or advertising, you have to think a printed version may not be sustainable given the continued rise of news print versus the opportunities of online.
I could always be wrong.
Either way, I like the new look Sunday Herald.
Yes, I’d actually put it on a heavier gram of paper, I’d make the columnists more distinct from news, and I’d maybe give more room to some stunning photography.
But isn’t it brilliant to see a paper trying to re-invent itself?
Whether last throw of the dice as some have branded it or not, it’s a bold move and one I think should be applauded.
Which isn’t to overlook the ongoing staffing issues that still need to be addressed behind the scenes.
For today, though, let's enjoy a step in the right direction.