First impressions of Sun on Sunday

Front page of the Sun on Sunday

The Sun rose again today.

But this was no new dawn for newspaper publishing.

The seventh-day version of Britain’s biggest selling daily paper was not very much different from the Monday-Saturday one we are familiar with.

It was very much just another Sun, rather than an independent newspaper such as The Mail on Sunday, which is very different to its daily stablemate. In fact, I would not be surprised to see the modest little ‘Sunday’ tag on the titlepiece quietly dropped at some point.

The paper was, however, much ‘softer’ than the weekday Sun. There was little in the way of hard news, or the investigations that were the hallmark of the News of the World.

But there was a strong female focus. The front page splash about Amanda Holden’s ‘birth ordeal’ continued over four more pages. There was a picture piece on a David Beckham family outing, new columns by Katie Price and ‘fashion expert’ Nancy Dell ‘Olio, a compact lifestyle-fashion magazine and lots of advertising targeted at women (mainly from supermarkets and furnishing firms).

It was, in fact, strikingly unlike the News of the World. There were no investigations, nothing too saucy; it was all very family friendly and inoffensive, and even included a rather grovelling editorial comment promising that it would behave itself and champion its readers (which is something newspapers should do anyway).

There was a comprehensive sports package: a pullout section of match reports and 17 pages of features and comment at the back.

My overall impression was that it was a bit bland and uninspiring (probably intensionally so). It was more a magazine than a newspaper. For all its faults the News of the World was spiky, full of suprises and energetic. It was not afraid to investigate the rich and powerful and hold them to account. You cannot imagine this seventh-day Sun doing that, and we may be poorer as a society because of that.

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About John Wilson

Editor of Hereford Times, Ludlow Advertiser, Stroud News and Journal, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and Gloucestershire Gazette series. Journalist for more than 30 years.
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