UK: New newspaper folds after only nine weeks

By Jane Whyatt
Britain’s newest national newspaper is appearing today for the last time. Just nine weeks after its launch (read more) the New Day is closing because it failed to attract enough readers. With an ambitious target of 200,000, the actual circulation peaked at only around 40,000.

A unique feature of the New Day was that it shunned party politics and aimed to present only features. It set out to show the brighter side of life with positive, heartwarming human interest stories.

The final edition is published on 6th May at the end of a particularly nasty election campaign for the Mayor of London, with hard-fought council elections across the whole of England and Scotland on the same day. New Day’s sister paper in the Trinity Mirror Group, the Daily Mirror, has an exclusive story on its front page about Conservative party election spending. Other newspapers have a police sex scandal (Telegraph and Daily Mail), a warning of a “wave of migrants“ planning to storm the Channel tunnel (Daily Express) and the junior hospital doctors’ dispute over new contracts (Guardian) (read more).

Setting its own distinctive agenda until the end, New Day leads with a story about teachers allegedly “ cheating“ in SATs examinations. (these are the national tests that  state school pupils must take a tage 11 and 14). It includes on page 1 the news that singer Janet Jackson (sister of the late Micheal Jackson) is expecting her first baby at the age of 50, and Prince Harry’s engagement with a charity.

New Day was a print-only newspaper and did not have a digital version of its content. However on its social media sites, some readers have mourned its passing

Editor Alison Phillips paid tribute to her staff for “ having the guts to take a chance and to try something new.“ And she quoted the famously miserable Irish author Samuel Beckett in her final message to readers on Facebook:

The New Day New New Day folds after only nine weeks (Screenshot: Facebook)

To take Samuel Beckett: 'Ever tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'
 Thanks for everything ...“

It is a saying that could be taken as a leitmotiv fort he UK press, which
has been turbulent throughout its three-hundred-year history dating back to the Daily Courant, launched in 1702. Over the last twenty years several new titles have tried and failed to win a sustainable audience, notably Today (1986-95), News on Sunday (seven months in 1987), and The Independent (1986-2016, when the print edition ceased. It continues online).

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