Monday, 11 May 2009

So has the Evening Standard really changed yet?

I've got my free copy of the Evening Sorry now. Shall we read it together?

What is included:

  • Clunky new masthead? Check
  • 'Who cares?' story about an affair? Check
  • City kids did good story? Check
  • City kids did bad story? Check
  • Taxodus? Check
  • House price obsession? Check
  • New snooty columnist? Check

What isn't included (thankfully)

What should be included (but isn't)

  • Scrutiny of Boris
  • Transport coverage
  • South London coverage

So it's pigeon steps basically. Some good signs, but nothing like the radical change the ad campaign had promised, and which the paper really needs.

Thankfully much of the spite has been taken out, but there's still not enough left to put in its place.

Where's the voices from outside the Kensington triangle? Where's the London that the rest of us live in? 

And more fundamentally, where's the news?

There's not enough in-depth analysis. There's not enough political coverage and there's not enough that sets it apart from the nationals.

They've done enough to stop me hating it for sure, but nowhere near enough to get me reading it every day.

So what do you think? Will you be shelling out 50p to the Standard from now on?


Helen said...

I was under the mistaken impression that Tanya Gold was a pornographer. Maybe Jacqueline Gold'd have something more interesting to say about London.

Rayyan said...

More interesting, rather than hoping for the only paid-for newspaper in the capital to change, should be discussion over how to break up its monopoly - not with another paper, but in the form of a mass-audience London blog or hub of blogs that produced lots of high quality news coverage without all the bad stuff the Standard continues to have, or is the staple of the London Lite/London Paper.

And surely it's a matter of time before Sockman returns? Or has he been sacked? Christmas comes but twice a year, I hope...

LG Test Blog said...

If it's a choice between what it was before and this, I choose this with no hesitation. Still wont buy it though.

Jim Jay said...

What's strange is that the relaunch issue had nothing much in it at all - you'd have thought they'd save up something really special for this edition - but no.

Mind you this is one edition so we'll have to see - the absence of spite is very welcome though.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the new crinklier paper :) Whats up with that. Not very fish and chip friendly.

AdamB said...

I hadn't noticed that but you're right. I don't know if it's my imagination but it feels lighter as well. Must be part of the new efficiency drive I guess.

Anonymous said...

The paper is noiser too - turning a page is very loud.Not library friendly and I see a "Sorry we deafened you" campaign in the next few years.
I need to get out more.

newsed1 said...

It's the Daily Tatler. Absolutely awful. I blame airhead deputy ed Sarah 'champagne for the brain' Sands. She also wrecked the S Telegraph and crashed the circulation.

'Er indoors though it was a freesheet.

Jon said...

Yep, nothing changed. Like this blog mentions (Evening Standard relaunch) there is nothing new tomorrow when Tom Wolfe is gone.

jared said...

I thought it odd that there were no articles about the State of London Debate on the weekend, which covered a vast range of issues, and wasnt just about the Mayor...but perhaps that's the point?- moving away from constant political comment towards general 'news', even if it means we get a 2 1/2 page spread about some millionaire bloking having a secret family?...i'll keep my 50p for now me thinks.

prj45 said...

"I thought it odd that there were no articles about the State of London Debate on the weekend, which covered a vast range of issues, and wasnt just about the Mayor"

I can't find much on that full stop, not even amongst the bloggers.

AdamB said...

We were there but there wasn't a lot that was newsworthy to be honest. His speech was a warmed-up version of his past 12 MQT round-ups and he refused to answer the question I asked him in the press conference afterwards. There is a recording that might see the light of day at some point.

Tom said...

jared - we didn't see anyone from the Standard there, only ITV, BBC and LBC, us and a Polish lady asking about Boris's view of Polish people.

Mr. Stop Boris said...

A free copy of *today's* Standard was thrust into my hands in Picadilly Circus at about 10pm today. Subsequently, at a mainline railway station, I was offered the same paper for 10p. Strange (or desperate) marketing tactics afoot.

Anyway, I can report that today's all-new positive (and positively orange) Standard features the writings of two journalistic giants, each being given a full double-page spread, and neither mentioning Ken Livingstone. Their names? Andrew Gilligan and Paddington Bear. Only one of them criticises bendy buses, too, and it's not the usual sockspect. Truly bizarre.

Initially I was saddened to see that Gilligan hadn't been given the boot, but now I realise he's writing alongside a fictional bear (and giving the refighting of the last election a rest) it's good to see that at least they're surrounding him with journalists of similar quality and seriousness.

prj45 said...

"We were there but there wasn't a lot that was newsworthy to be honest"

I did suspect as much. Getting answers out of this mayoral team puts me in mind of a really bad artificial intelligence routine set up to give nothing but hopelessly optimistic responses.

AdamB said...

Paddington Bear?! Is it online?

Helen said...

I was hoping LBC had recorded the individual sessions at the State Of London Debate but only Boris's opening plenary appears as a podcast.

Attendance was, I guess, half of Ken's last SoLD in 2007 as the large hall used for the Mayor's opening plenary was half-full and so the overflow room which is usually't.

The audience appeared to have been ethnically-cleansed compared to 2007 and replaced with middle-aged, middle-class hangers-on-Boris's-every-word.

Mr. Stop Boris said...

@Adam: it is now...

Helen said...

Tanya Gold's the subject of Hackwatch in this week's Private Eye.

organic cheeseboard said...

Based on the free copy I read on Monday, the Standard seems a little bit better than it was, but they're still under the impression that having lots of pages = having lots of genuine content, and the writing is still, in general, really boring. Though no sign of Nick Cohen for two weeks now.

If they're really looking for new readers, they need to either make the stuff in it better, or make it cheaper. Because there's no way I'd switch reading the two freesheets for that, paying 50p more.

barry rochford said...

In fairness, it does show that Londoners commuting need something better than the free papers. I picked up the free copy the other day and not only was it better, but it was kore worthwile.
I suppose news about Jordan, Posh, drunken footballers is all very well and topical, but you do sometimes feel that you need something more on the 5.37
Who knows - if they carry on like this, some really good journalists - right and left - would want to work for them.

Anonymous said...

I dont live in the Borough of Kensington & Chelsea or go out in W1 so the paper is totally irrelavant to me.