Spotlight: The New Day

Alan Geere, who was part of the launch team of Today, wobbly colour and all, that shook the newspaper market thirty years ago, casts his eye over the latest national newspaper launch.

By Alan Geere

What’s it about: "Life's short, let's live it well", under the masthead or "Life is short, let's live it well", at the foot of right-hand pages. Take your pick.

Vital statistics: Launch issue: 40 pages of 362mm x 290mm (same size as i), including a false front and Page 2 intro. Quality paper (GraphoInvent 54gsm SCA, I learn), stitched. Launch issue free, usual cover price 50p, although that fact is not mentioned anywhere. Published by Trinity Mirror at Canary Wharf in London.

Cover: Commanding picture with well crafted magazine-style cover lines. Three come-ons to inside featuring Cheryl, Liam, 'The PM' and a woman living for free.

Content: Quick read news and people pages followed by a two-page spread on the cover story about infant carers. 'Today's big question', on the snoopers' charter, feels very early on page nine, followed by 'the news story' (Europe) on 12-13 then sport popping up on 16-17. Nothing longer than three pars and no mention of the Capital Cup final in my edition, so already early deadlines showing their teeth. More people-type pages, a put-up job investigation into bullying involving actors (quick, phone the ethics police!) and '3 minute update' lurking on page 24. ‘Life today’ is that woman living for free, puzzles, recipe, tv previews (no listings) and 'the big read' - a feature on Albino babies in Tanzania. The body type feel very big with generous leading and that headline font looks suspiciously like the late, unlamented Rockwell.

Digital: No website, but a page on Facebook (not to be confused with CNN's New Day or tag-team wrestlers The New Day) which already demonstrated a healthy cut and thrust with new readers after just a few hours. Under-promoted Twitter page underpopulated by tweets.

What they say: "We like to think we're a modern, upbeat newspaper for modern, glass-half-full kind of people", - editor Alison Phillips in her page 3 welcome address. "Good grief. Is this the level of journalism in your new paper?" - post on Facebook.

Verdict: Just like Sister Julienne on Call the Midwife, we all love a new birth, so give three hearty cheers to the talented and committed team that have brought us The New Day. It looks good and reads well, although it doesn't take long to skip through it and I don't think Metro, i or Daily Mail will be looking too hard over their shoulders. So the big question is: Who will buy it? Will it be an instead-of or an as-well-as purchase? Answers, please, to 'Share it', the page readers will fill.....