OPINION: Today may be gone but it shall not be forgotten
The law of the jungle that is Fleet Street means that the Today newspaper, which has suffered from a combination of stagnating sales and a 50 per cent increase in newsprint costs, is no more.
The law of the jungle that is Fleet Street means that the Today
newspaper, which has suffered from a combination of stagnating sales and
a 50 per cent increase in newsprint costs, is no more.
However, its legacy will live on in a number of ways. There are many
managers, editorial staff, proprietors and advertisers who have cause to
be grateful to Today. For, although the paper was always a lame duck, it
established a whole new era in print publishing. The Independent, for
example, owes its existence directly to Today because it proved that a
would-be national newspaper proprietor could raise the money for an
And, ironically, considering it was he who decided to shut the paper
down last Friday, Rupert Murdoch owes Today a huge debt of gratitude.
For it was Today that broke the union stranglehold on production and
paved the way for him to move to Wapping and launch multi-sectioned
papers with on-the-run colour. Going further back, the entire magazine
market owes a debt to Today’s founder, Eddie Shah, who demonstrated that
new technology could be introduced into a hostile union climate, thus
changing the whole economic base of publishing. Where he led, countless
But sentiment does not sell papers, and now the battle for Today’s
readers has commenced. The Daily Mail, as you would expect, was quick
off the mark with a special offer and, by last Friday, it was already
running a radio campaign. But will Today’s Labour-inclined readers go to
Tory papers such as the Mail? Or will they be lost to the newspaper
Curiously, though, it may be in the political arena where the shockwaves
will be most felt. Today’s last edition carried a four-page ad urging
its readers to switch to the Sun. On the front page was a piece by Tony
Blair endorsing the Sun - as clear a statement as you can get that the
Sun has gone Labour.
This article was first published on Campaign
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