Will we ever see this new 'World'?

Raymond Snoddy asks Stephen Glover about the state of play with his plan to launch a new quality daily

Stephen Glover, a co-founder of
The Independent, insists that he could still launch a new top-of-the-market quality daily newspaper next year, despite obvious difficulties in raising money for the ambitious project.

Stephen Glover, a co-founder of The Independent, insists that he could still launch a new top-of-the-market quality daily newspaper next year, despite obvious difficulties in raising money for the ambitious project.

News of the project, which could be called The World, after the French quality daily Le Monde, was leaked at the end of February. Since then, virtually nothing has been heard of the attempt to raise £15m to launch the compact paper, which would set out to take sales from existing quality dailies.

Despite the silence, Glover, a columnist for the Daily Mail, who promised that the paper would be a celebrity-free zone, insists that the project is "extant".

Glover says that the team behind it, which includes Vicky Unwin, the former managing director of PR Newswire, as prospective managing director, will say nothing, either officially or unofficially, "until or unless we raise the money".

But Glover, a former editor of The Independent on Sunday, says: "The project is extant, and is as extant as it has ever been, that's all I can say really." Asked whether it was true that the group had failed to raise the necessary funds, Glover replies: "It's a slightly pejorative way of putting it to say that we have failed to raise the money so far. It makes it sound as if we have been struggling against enormous odds. We are following a particular strategy and I am optimistic that it will succeed."

The journalist was a leader writer on The Daily Telegraph before joining Andreas Whittam Smith in launching The Independent in 1986. He believes that there has been a serious dumbing-down in the national newspaper market. He believes that The World, or whatever final title is chosen, could attract significant numbers of disaffected readers, put off by triviality. The aim is to produce a high-quality, low-cost paper that could survive on initial sales as low as 100,000.

Could the paper be launched next year? "Conceivably, yes," says Glover, the son of an Anglican cleric. "Everything that was said about it when it leaked at the end of February, all the factual stuff remains true. Absolutely. Actually, I am as optimistic as I have ever been," he says, in a markedly ambiguous comment.

In particular, Glover, who also writes for The Spectator magazine, still believes in the high-end nature of the project. Because of the I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! culture, Glover says that he feels like a stranger in his own country. Ironically, one of the stars of the latest series, Janet Street-Porter, is also a former editor of The Independent on Sunday.

When the initial story first came out, Andrew Neil, publisher of The Business and The Scotsman, and now chief executive of The Spectator, said that he hoped that the paper would succeed, but was very sceptical. "To launch a new quality newspaper in today's crowded and declining market is either brave or foolhardy. To finance such a project requires even more courage and is probably foolish," the former editor of The Sunday Times argued.

Despite a certain dogged optimism, the silence over any potential investors nearly a year after the project first became public does not look good. It is just about possible - but unlikely - that the Daily Mail and General Trust, publishers of the Daily Mail, might consider getting involved, following its failure to buy The Daily Telegraph. But the reality is that conditions in the national newspaper market have worsened significantly over the past year. Advertising revenues have not bounced back from recession as robustly as had been hoped, and recent circulation figures show that most papers are down year-on-year.

The only two exceptions are The Times, which is up by 0.6 per cent, and The Independent, up by 9.1 per cent. One of the main factors influencing the positive sales of both papers is the fact that both are now wholly compact. But that in turn removes what might once have been a unique selling point for Glover's paper - a Le Monde-style format.

Certainly, very few people in the national newspaper industry, apart from Stephen Glover, of course, are holding their breath for the arrival of a new competitor.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive - West London - £35,000

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Junior PHP Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable