Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Sun on Sunday' Ushers in New Tabloid Era

Rupert Murdoch with today's first ever Sunday edition of the Sun
TODAY’S Sunday edition of the Sun ended up feeling a bit of a damp squib – very News of the World ‘Lite’.
But it’s set out its stall and is doing exactly what it says on the tin – trawling with a big net in the female market.
The paper is packed full of what women’s magazine journalists call or used to call (rather horribly I always thought) ‘womb tremblers’.
Amanda Holden’s birth ordeal , Harper Seven on the shoulders of dad David Beckham, ‘Agony of Murdered Nikitta’s Parents’, a brave war widow revealing she tragically miscarried just before her husband was killed, a grandmother’s love for her soccer star son and a girl reunited with her long lost dad.
All very worthy human interest stories. Female stories.
A total of 13 pages devoted to the staple fare of most women’s magazines. The Sun is leaving us in no doubt about its Sunday identity.
What we won’t be getting are investigations clearly. And the rest of Fleet Street won’t be waiting up late and holding its breath for revelations which will set the news agenda alight for the rest of the week.
But this is surely the type of tabloid paper we will be getting post Leveson, so in that respect it is setting the agenda other tabloids will follow.
It is so indistinguishable from the daily Sun that it will surely succeed in capturing many of its readers.
This product may disappoint died in the wool red-top Sunday journalists.
But that’s irrelevant. Today’s Sun is a commercial inevitability.
The News of the World is history. It’s not coming back.
The king is dead. Long live the queen.


  1. Anonymous26 February 2012 11:03

    You don't think that this a 'soft launch' and that investigations will appear over time? Is it not still a tricky time for a full notw style paper at the moment?

  2. Neville Thurlbeck26 February 2012 11:28

    I think it's big a statement on how it's going to position itself in the market and it won't want to waver too much from that or it will confuse the readers. If investigations are going to be a big part of its content, it will move Mazher Mahmood across from the Times. But it hasn't as yet, which I think tells us a lot.

  3. pressgenerator.com26 February 2012 16:31

    I thought the splash was weak as water. Just a retelling of a story we already knew with a bit of colour.

  4. pressgenerator.com26 February 2012 22:25

    Sport and footy coverage was v good though.

  5. Anonymous27 February 2012 22:57

    Interesting and robust appearance on newsnight Nevile. Not sure about your thousand yard stare down the lens at the start though!

  6. Neville Thurlbeck28 February 2012 01:28

    Yes, a lot of people have commented on that. So I played it back to have a look and it scared the pants off me. I thought it was Bela Lugosi! Apparently the dog was barking his head off so he must have been pretty unnerved too.

  7. Rene Butler4 March 2012 16:01

    I agree with the blog. It all seems very hollow. With the decline of investigative journalism, we are seeing a proliferation of half-witted columns from bums on seats celebs. Without investigations we'd never have learnt about the MPs expenses racket. With Katie Price's column in The Sun, what have we learnt other than "marriage should be about marriage and not TV cameras and magazine deals." Ms Price is just one of many.
    Investigations hold the rich and powerful to account they help right societal wrongs on many levels. What are we saying as a society if the best we can give is a staple diet of trash/opinion? I don't believe the coveted female audience has endless appetite for this stuff.
    In the wake of The Leveson enquiry the PCC should insist each Sunday paper devotes a certain amount of space to investigations. Hopefully, then, some amount of journalistic credibility will be restored - wishful thinking I know.

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