Gay news website to launch magazine

Gay news website PinkNews.co.uk is to launch a magazine edition that eschews sex-related adverts and editorial to entice mainstream advertising and a readership beyond the community's clubbers.

Editor-in-chief Benjamin Cohen said The Pink News, which will initially be a supplement in Brighton-based magazine 3Sixty this July, was driven by a gap in market for a publication "not dominated by sex and clubbing" and a desire by advertisers to work in print rather than online.

He said: "We've carved out a niche online as the only work-safe gay website in the UK and we're trying to replicate that in print and be a publication that a gay person can read on the train without having to be embarrassed."

Cohen, who created the Jewishnet and CyberBritain websites while still in his teens, launched PinkNews last July.

He added: "Going into print allows you to do full-page and display ads which you can't really replicate online."

The magazine will be published by 3Sixty/CityPride and distributed monthly, initially in Brighton, London and Cardiff with a hoped-for circulation of 30,000.

The company hopes to eventually make the magazine a stand-alone title with a weekly frequency.

Cohen said the challenge was to tackle "hard-hitting news", which he said its main rival, Millivres' Pink Paper, failed to cover anymore.

"I don't believe it's [Pink Paper] actually read as much as people think," he said. "Part of the reason is it's perceived as a newspaper, but it isn't news anymore."

Pink Paper editor Tris Reid Smith said: "In terms of column inches, the news content in Pink Paper is at least as big or bigger than it's ever been.

"So the idea that it's no longer a newspaper is utter nonsense. I suggest Cohen gets out his ruler and measures the column inches."

Reid Smith added that the Pink Paper, which celebrates its 900th edition this week and planned to go weekly this year, was already available at a variety of distribution points including workplaces, student unions and libraries, and that the title had avoided gratuitous sexual imagery for years.

He said: "Having a magazine which reaches 10 per cent of the surface area of Britain is not like having a newspaper, which is at least twice as frequent and actually reaches the whole country."

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