The Voice set to target a broader market

Britain’s first black newspaper The Voice has plans to adopt a broader appeal under its new Jamaica-based owner Gleaner Group.

New managing director Colin Reid said: “It’s not going to be just about being black any more. The world’s changing. There’s a black audience and we will still be catering for a black audience, but we shouldn’t alienate everyone else who wants to pick up the newspaper.

“I have seen a lot of letters from English women who are married to African and Caribbean men and they want something in the paper for themselves as well.”

Reid said he also wants to do more to target people of mixed race who are one of the Britain’s fastest-growing demographic groups.

He added: “We don’t want to be too radical. When we move into a business we want to learn as much as possible about the business first but we have to be reflective of the various changes happening in the community.”

The Voice celebrated its 21st birthday this year and was last month bought by Gleaner Group, which publishes daily Caribbean paper, the Gleaner.

Reid said the new owners have already committed more than £2m of investment to The Voice and he said that the existing editorial team would be staying in place.

“We’ve got a nice marketing budget and we are going to start attending every event.”

According to Reid the paper is in discussions to change its distribution network and plans to get an official ABC circulation figure as soon as possible.

He said: “All the talk is that the black minority and ethnic market is worth £32bn a year. But if advertisers woke up to this potential, the opportunities are vast. In the light of this, it’s The Voice that brands should be listening to, and it’s The Voice that they need to use if they want to spread the word about their products and services”.

By Dominic Ponsford

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