One of the few good things to come out of the car crash of a referendum vote last year was the publication of a pro Remain weekly paper ‘The New European’.
Initially it was published as a pop up paper. The intention was only to publish it as long as it was wanted. So the plan was to publish four issues and then take it from there.
After a year it is still going strong. And one year after it launch it has changed from the Berliner format (much beloved of European papers and our own Guardian) to the more traditional compact size.
Often this is done to stem financial losses, e.g. The Sunday Correspondent, but in the case of the New European it is because the only Berliner printing presses in the UK owned by the Guardian, are being sold. The Guardian can no longer afford to maintain them and so it will also change format and adopt the compact size from the New Year.
Yesterday morning, a day earlier than normal, my copy of the new look New European landed on my door mat.
Overall the impression was positive. It was easier to read and there had been no loss in the quality of the writing. (Why would there be?) If anything it seems that the content has increased with some new features
Going compact is not an automatic signal for standards to drop. The Independent adopted the format to make the paper easier to read for commuters, hoping no doubt to boost its falling circulation. The Times followed and has been compact for some years and though one may not agree with its editorially, it is still well written.
Regardless of the format that it adopts the New European’s real success is to have bucked the trend for printed newspapers. Its business model differs from the daily’s of course. It is published weekly and is targeted at a very specific group for people. The 48% who voted to remain in the EU. It does not try and mimic other papers nor does it compete with them on news and sport, and offers quality writing from well known and some less well known writers and commentators on all matters European, cultural and political and of course on Brexit.
It costs £2 and is available in all good news agents and supermarkets.