Media: Weekend week in, week out
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Wednesday 20 October 1993
It's hard to believe that only a few years ago the industry was debating whether Saturday papers and magazines would make the Sundays semi-redundant. I suspect an early result may be some circulation drops, with fewer people buying more than one Sunday paper. The time and space all these sections consume can be overwhelming.
Here are the new runners in the Uncommitted Readers Chase:
Daily Express (32p) Saturday Review: 40-page pot-pourri; seven- day television guide; travel, motoring, interiors, human-interest features; and out-of-place 'USA Today' by Peter Hitchens. Lacks character and doesn't use colour on fashion page.
Daily Mail (32p) Weekend: shares one odd failing with the Express - no index. But plenty of space for gardening and cookery; and the television guide's selection of a Family Choice for each day will set a trend. Its back feature is a highly intimate questionnaire, this week with an RSC actress. They may run out of interviewees willing to answer questions such as 'How often do you make love?' and 'What do you like to do immediately after making love?'; mind you, the RSC has plenty more actresses.
Times (40p) Saturday: new 32- page tabloid television guide, Vision, doesn't help reader in a hurry by putting an ad rather than Saturday's television on its back page. Good idea to have specialists, including your science and sports correspondents, picking highlights.
Mail on Sunday (65p) Night and Day: the biggest disappointment; basically, usual set of arts pages fronted by a tired-looking feature ('Who really shot Kennedy?'). What is too often forgotten in the rush for youth-culture coverage and topical tricks is that arts pages live or die by their critics. The Mail on Sunday has few, if any, great ones.
Observer (90p): its new sections don't yet look comfortable. Putting sport in tabloid form - the only quality paper to do so - could be a mistake. Picture potential is diminished, and the front page can cover only one fixture. The arts Review has good writers, but should have avoided getting the page number wrong for the one feature it plugged on the front. Television is oddly placed in the new Life section, which is beginning to work: consumer-based, testing everything from puddings to pheremones; quietly eccentric.
Independent on Sunday ( pounds 1): playing to strengths by expanding much-imitated Sunday Review. New sports section, broadsheet, puts emphasis on quality writing (last week Gordon Burn on snooker). Changing the successful tabloid business section into a broadsheet seems a little perverse.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled killing two women residents
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli PM says conflict may 'continue for a long time' as hundreds of Palestinians flee their homes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
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