The question that’s often asked by frustrated daily newspaper executives surveying the long-term downward slope of their circulation graphs is this: if the product didn’t already exist, would you invent it? Their answers tend to range from the realistic “probably not” to the emphatic “absolutely no way”.
With cheaper, less complex ways of reaching news consumers in the wired age, received wisdom suggests it would be a bold entrepreneur indeed who opted for the process that starts as a tree and ends up at the bottom of the cat’s litter tray.
Boldness is certainly one of the characteristics of Stephen Glover, erstwhile launcher of The Independent and latterly outspoken columnist with the Daily Mail and The Spectator.
Reports suggest he is raising money for an upmarket “compact” daily newspaper with a serious news agenda to fill the gap left by the “dumbed-down” broadsheets.
He’ll need more qualities than brass neck if he’s to get the project successfully to market with the rumoured £15m funding that he’s apparently seeking.
He’ll also need editorial brilliance, marketing genius and a generous helping of luck to boot if he’s to avoid being crushed by the big bucks of News International, Associated, the Telegraph Group and Express Newspapers.
But then received wisdom also said the same things back in 1986 when The Independent’s eagle wings first took flight.
There’s a tenner for you here if that helps, Stephen.