New London paper targets city's young commuter

By Sarah Lagan

An alternative weekly newspaper for London’s young commuters is to launch in April.

London Line will be available from honesty boxes at tube stations in
central London for one pence. The token cover price means the paper
will not breach the tubes’ exclusive distribution deal with Metro .

It
will also be sold from other key commuter points within the West End
and City of London, and distributed in Camden, Clapham, Kensington and
out to Docklands in East London.

The initial print run for the 24-page title will be 40,000, aimed at 20 to 35- year-olds living in the capital.

London
Line, which claims the support of Transport for London and Westminster
City Council, will be published independently by Black Coffee
Publishing with private backing.

Damian Kahya, a founder of the
Cambridge Student and former BBC News 24 journalist, is publisher and
former sitcom writer Tom Phillips is associate editor.

The likely
editor is a young female journalist who has worked on every paper in
Fleet Street apart from The Guardian . The editorial team of around
eight will be mostly young Fleet Street journalists.

Based on
such alternative US magazines as New York’s Village Voice , the front
page of London Line will be bold and graphic-led There are around six
news pages providing left-of-centre local and international stories.

With
a focus on arts, culture and entertainment, the writing style aims to
combine “intelligent analysis and irreverent informality”. The listings
section will highlight alternative events.

The paper’s Thursday
distribution day coincides with the Evening Standard ‘s highest selling
day, when it includes its Metro Life what’s-on guide, but Kahya
believes London Line is not a direct competitor.

He said: “There
is nothing in the regional press that comes near to London Line
editorially. Most of London’s newspapers are parochial and often
right-wing, focusing on things such as crime. We will include all views
but we want to reflect the liberal interests of London, cover the big
issue-led stories rather than run-of-the-mill Westminster stories.”

“It could be described as an editorial mix between The Guardian’s Editor supplement, G2, Time Out and NME.

We will not be pretentious. We want to get people excited about things but not tell them what is or isn’t cool.”

A pilot issue is available on the website www.thelondonline.com, which will be fully launched in the Spring.

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