Media pundits have had much to say about the launch of The Sun on Sunday this weekend – but what do readers and newsagents think about it?
Press Gazette went out to the streets around our offices next to Smithfield Market in London to find out.
Everyone we spoke to was aware that Sun on Sunday is launching this weekend – suggesting that the huge publicity around the title has been a marketer’s dream. But there were mixed responses as to whether individuals would buy it or not and as to whether the fallout from the hacking scandal would continue to tarnish the new launch.
Delroy, 49, a manager, said he was already a reader of The Sun: ‘I will have to see how it is formatted before I buy it.’
He added: ‘Whether it will be sustainable in the current market considering what’s happened with News International and the phone-hacking scandal remains to be seen.”
Tony, 32, who works in administration, said he would not be reading the paper. ‘Not since the Hillsborough slander in 1989,” he said. “I just read the Metro and the Evening Standard at the moment. I wouldn’t read The Sun if someone gave it to me.”
David Frost, 32, a manager, said he reads The Sun occasionally as well as broadsheet papers and that he might buy the Sunday title, depending on the content.
Asked whether the continuing fallout from the hacking scandal would influence him, he said: ‘No, because all papers have been doing the same practices for the last four or five years and everyone’s pretty much known about it.”
Carol Morris, 44, a sales assistant and a reader of The Sun, said she liked the paper and that would probably buy it on a Sunday: ‘It’s just easy reading isn’t it. Just trashy gossip.”
‘It will replace the News of the World‘
Ian Thompson, 29, a sales manager, said: ‘I read The Sun every now and again. I like the light-hearted stories and how it’s not too in depth. It’s just a bit of fun I suppose.”
He said he may well buy the new Sunday edition: ‘It will be nice to read on a Sunday and it will replace the News of the World.”
Asked about whether he was influenced by the hacking scandal, he said: ‘No, I just enjoy reading stories.”
Tonia, 39, an analyst, was not a fan of The Sun and said she did not allow her husband to bring the paper home: ‘It’s got tits on page 3 and I don’t want anything like that in my house.”
Kim Neale, 22, is a store manager. She said: ‘I am not a reader but my parents read it. It’s always there and the sport is quite good.’She said she was unlikely to buy The Sun on Sunday: ‘I read ‘i’. It is quite concise and has a bit of everything. The Sun has a lot of celebrity news but ‘i’ is more rounded.”
Amy Lyseski, 33, a PA, said she won’t be buying The Sun on Sunday: ‘I read the Evening Standard, as its free, or the Independent or The Guardian.”
Not surprisingly, the newsagents we spoke to – in a mixed residential area just north of the City of London – broadly welcomed the launch of the new title. But there were mixed views about whether the hacking scandal has impacted on sales.
Mr Zaheer, 52, from Jubilee General Store in Goswell Road, London, said: ‘Yes, yes, of course it’s good. Sun readership will buy it, and old News of World readers, why not? It’s a good idea.”
He added: ‘I don’t know [about the hacking scandal affecting sales] I’ve not noticed it.”
Rischi Sharma, 29, from Goswell News, said: ‘Yes it’ll be successful – it’s a tabloid paper on Sunday”, adding that most of his readers buy two papers on a Sunday, a tabloid and a broadsheet.
Suzi Vithlanui, 58, from Neilhart News onAldersgate Street, said: ‘We used to sell a lot of News of the World so it might take over from that but the hacking scandal has affected sales. Our most popular paper is The Telegraph.”
Sony from Jasmine News on Cowcross Street, said: ‘Yes it’s good news but I don’t think it’ll be hugely successful, because we tend to send copies of the Sun back. The hacking [scandal] has affected the sales.”
Haussa Jaskot of Mace Newsagents on Goswell Road said: ‘People buy the Sun everyday but they couldn’t on Sunday, now they can, so that’ll be good.”