The New Sunday Herald

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.

Absolutely.

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.

To that end I think the move behind today’s Sunday Herald is inspired and I think others will follow suit otherwise they will look tired. Sunsay herald

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.

 



Categories: Launches, Long Form, Media philosophy & trends

Tags: , ,

3 replies

  1. I’ve written a piece over on the Contently Managed site but I thought it was very good, though surprised at nearly one-quarter of the paper being devoted to sport while there was so little Business coverage.
    One glaring omission though was the lack of games coverage. It’s 2011, gaming is a major Scottish employer, surely we are past the idea that games are for kids?

  2. What’s needed is intelligent paper. Paper that can feel when it’s being touched and adverts that know when they’re being read. Oh, that’s something called the web. I’m sure that will do well.

  3. I, too, like the concept. But the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
    The Sheridan splash could be covered in a sentence. Padding it out with the Facebooker’s inane txt speke and some library copy about the trial background added absolutely nothing of value.
    If supposedly upmarket newspapers still think they can fool us like this, they really have learned nothing.
    Even though the weekend is when I’m least connected to news, it was striking how much of the paper was still repeating things I already knew.
    The essay was good, and the invitations for more even better.
    But the structure of the paper (e.g. a dull EastEnders? piece starting on P2 linking to P4) was poor and the complete absence of any sense of an associated website was a huge disappointment.
    The fact that in one of the articles the reporter or sub felt the need to put quotes around Twitter “trending topics” was an interesting insight into mindsets.
    If you still think trending topics are such an odd concept that they need the “” treatment, you don’t live in my world.
    Management can bleat on about a ‘radical’ new product as much as they want, but if the staff maintain their same old, same old attitudes nothing changes.
    There are so many things a Sunday could do to strike up an ongoing relationship with an audience and make the printed product the climax of an ongoing conversation.
    Sadly, I see none of that.
    For a newish paper with much less of the baggage that other papers have to deal with, it just seems a missed opportunity to do something genuinely radical. Shame.

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