The Relaunch of the New Statesman

Guido v New Statesman v Speccie

The graphic above shows how the New Statesman has lost ground over the last two years.  With the paid-for print circulation now in the low teens of thousands it has only a quarter of the Spectator’s paid-for circulation.   Online the advantage the magazine enjoyed when it was ahead of the game has now evaporated.  It was at one time one of the better online political websites and despite a recent revamp it has continued to lose ground.  “Why?” is the question the new owner Mike Danson must be asking himself.

StaggersThere are two reasons Guido thinks* – the decline of the enthusiasm of the left as a decade of disillusion takes a heavy toll and the fact that it isn’t a very good read.  Serious writers like Martin Bright and the effervescent Nick Cohen have been lost and replaced with new blood who are hardly “must read” material.  Mehdi Hassan is finding his footing, James Macintyre’s articles betray his mentoring by Derek Draper, often reading like the work of a student journalist on a college newspaper.  For a serious political weekly they lack serious political reporters.

The dullness quotient can be high elsewhere in the magazine.  Maguire’s cheeky diary was often a work of fiction, but at least it was entertaining fiction.  Peter Wilby usually has something interesting to say, Pilger is Pilger if you like that sort of thing.  A lot of the rest of the stuff is worthy and boring. The Spectator is far more fun, mischievous and readable.

It is hard to see how even as canny a publisher as Danson can avoid losing money if it doesn’t change editorial course.  If  of course he bought it vainly for influence, fine, though even there how much influence does it have nowadays?  The circulation numbers don’t lie, with a declining readership half the size of this blog’s audience, Guido thinks the announced “greater focus on photography” is unlikely to cut the mustard in Labour’s inner circles.  A political weekly needs to get great political stories to succeed.  When was the last time the New Statesman had a real scoop?

*Third possible reason applies to all left-wing, politically correct publications  since the late sixties – it is hard to be fun when you are earnest and have to watch your words. Fun sells.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Boris campaign team member Jake Berry not taking well:

“There is a very deep pit reserved in Hell for such as he. #Gove”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

TRACKING #TORYLEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN 2016 TRACKING #TORYLEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN 2016
BORIS PULLS OUT BORIS PULLS OUT
TORY LEADERSHIP DECLARATIONS LATEST TORY LEADERSHIP DECLARATIONS LATEST
MAY: “BREXIT MEANS BREXIT” MAY: “BREXIT MEANS BREXIT”
Gove’s Full Statement Gove’s Full Statement
AB FAB’S PATSY AND EDINA SPEAK ON BREXIT AB FAB’S PATSY AND EDINA SPEAK ON BREXIT
CORBYN GETS HIS NEW POLITICS AT LAST CORBYN GETS HIS NEW POLITICS AT LAST
CORBYNISTAS WEAPONISE CAMERON CORBYNISTAS WEAPONISE CAMERON
PM TO CORBYN: “FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE MAN, GO!” PM TO CORBYN: “FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE MAN, GO!”
GLOVES OFF: CRABB GOES FOR BORIS GLOVES OFF: CRABB GOES FOR BORIS
JEDIS FOR JEZ JEDIS FOR JEZ
DON’T TRIGGER ARTICLE 50 UNTIL THE DEAL IS CLEAR DON’T TRIGGER ARTICLE 50 UNTIL THE DEAL IS CLEAR
SNP CELEBRATE ENGLAND OUT OF EUROPE SNP CELEBRATE ENGLAND OUT OF EUROPE
LEADSOM WAITING FOR BORIS TO OFFER HER CHANCELLOR LEADSOM WAITING FOR BORIS TO OFFER HER CHANCELLOR
Happy Brexit Ma’am Happy Brexit Ma’am
SEUMAS’ BAD IDEA SEUMAS’ BAD IDEA
FARAGE VICTORY SPEECH TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FARAGE VICTORY SPEECH TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
LABOUR COUP DAY 3 LABOUR COUP DAY 3
INSIDE THE PLP: “THE WORST SPEECH I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE” INSIDE THE PLP: “THE WORST SPEECH I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE”