Daily Ireland passes its first test

According to the Press Gazette, Daily Ireland has passed round one of the inevitable hurdles facing any new newspaper title. The figure (as reported here by Jimmy) exceeded the expectations of many press insiders, and now opens the way for the kind of government advertising that the paper had clearly hoped to access earlier.

  • peteb

    Maybe, Mick.. but as I pointed out on Jimmy’s thread, its sales figures are already dropping..

  • Mick

    Well, yes. But that’s a well worn pattern with new launches. If you can’t maximise on your first issues, when can you?

    It’s a tough time for newspapers everywhere. I don’t envy them the challenge. I just think it’s worth recording their relative success given the (inaccurate, as it happens) dark mutterings about their performance in advance.

  • peteb

    “If you can’t maximise on your first issues, when can you?”

    Indeed.

    And the average daily sales figure being touted includes those initial maximised sales.

    But what relative success? They’re well down on their loose predictions.. they’ve already trimmed staff costs.. and they’re begging for government adverts to subsidise remaining costs..

  • Mick

    Pete, success relative to that results predicted here. There is no doubt that the paper will have to prove itself in the long term. Argubly it needs to search out the niche it has set out for itself, and expand it.

    But for now, I think the PG’s analysis says all there is to say, at the moment. Failing a leak of the company’s business plan citing a much higher initial target, I’m not sure there’s anything concrete its critics can legitimately strike back with.

    I will say that the Northern Bank robbery did them no favours in terms of getting the Republican focused agenda off the ground. It’s columnists, for instance were forced on the defensive right from the word go. A new political climate might just bring them the opportunity to move outside the core areas they been able to take so far.

    But it won’t be easy, given the loss of momentum at the start. I’ve not spoken to anyone inside the paper, but I serously doubt there are any illusions about this there either.

  • peteb

    “It’s columnists, for instance were forced on the defensive right from the word go.”

    Seriously, Mick.. that its columnists felt [or were told] they had to defend the Provisional Movement about that indicates the fundamental problem the paper has.

    On the relative success.. I’d judge that by their own predictions.. and on that they’ve undoubtedly failed the first test.

  • Still Confused

    The numbers are better than what was predicted here, true. But they do not match the hyperbole being bandied about. Outside of the bickering on Slugger, scrutiny of the numbers does not bear up the hype. How can selling 1,000 more copies of Daily Ireland than what the Andersonstown News sells seriously be considered “a monumental achievement”? Really? Does that really “show there is a real thirst for a paper that wears its nationalist heart on its sleeve”? 1,000 more people that what buy the Andersonstown News, in all of Ireland, demonstrate a “real thirst”?

    Can someone explain how so?

  • Young Fogey

    Mairtin said:

    when you consider the opposition from unionists North and South

    All those Southern Unionists must be happy – somebody call the Reform Movement!

  • Mick Hall

    We should not over look the fact that some news agents, especially in the south will not sell the paper due to its links with the PRM. This may change somewhat when PIRA is stood down. I think Pete hit the nail on the head when he wrote the following,

    “Seriously, Mick.. that its columnists felt [or were told] they had to defend the Provisional Movement about that indicates the fundamental problem the paper has”

    Myself I feel the paper missed an opportunity to express its independence during the recent period, especially over the McCartney campaign, its interview with ‘jock’ was a pretty poor show as it was without much comment. Although Im still optimistic about this papers future and wish it well, as there is an emerging market out there for a radical republican paper.[republican with small r]

  • TAFKABO

    It’s more than ironic to consider that Anthony McIntyre has managed to produce the Blanket, which is able to attract a readership from across the political spectrum, whilst remaining largely republican in outlook.

    Maybe they need someone like McIntyre as editor of DI?

    ;-p

  • Gonzo

    LOL TAFKABO!

    I feel the begrudgers are being overly harsh. Newspaper sales always take a dip during the summer, but on the other hand I seriously doubt that people buy papers for the politics these days. Trumpeting a republican position is fair enough, but unless the rest of the paper is attractive to readers, its a poor Unique Selling Point.

  • Oilbhear Chromaill

    I think Mick is a bit too charitable when he declaims the ‘dark mutterings’ about Daily Ireland’s sales as ‘inaccurate’ – they were so wild and so wishful to render any subsequent comment about the issue by those involved as invalid.

    Pete b, Gonzo, Confused and the Devil in the deep blue sea can bluster and fluster as much as they like – they’ve been found out as gombeen men.

    The initial figure aimed for by Daily Ireland backers was 20,000 and the newspaper is well on its way to achieving it.

    As for Pete’s assertion that ‘columnists told (or felt they had to) defend the ‘PRM” maybe he could stand up that assertion with some facts…

    Mick Hall is inaccurate about his claim about the Jock interview re the McCartney case being carried without comment. There was a trenchant editorial in the same edition which prompted several angry letters and text messages if subsequent editions were anything to go by.

    The really interesting thing about all this is this is the third thread here about Daily Ireland in less than a week. There’s no other newspaper in Ireland or anywhere else which rivals it for provoking comment.

    That’s something which the Irish News, bland to the extreme, the DUP Newsletter and co would no doubt envy.

  • Gonzo

    So providing a perfectly reasonable justification for a fall in all newspaper sales in the summer and pointing out that politics doesn’t necessarily sell any paper makes me a “gombeen man”…?

    My, what a brilliant analysis(!)

    LOL!

  • Mick

    Oilbhear, someone has to show a bit of charity about the place. There’s precious little spontaneously coming from anywhere else! 🙂

  • peteb

    “Pete b, Gonzo, Confused and the Devil in the deep blue sea can bluster and fluster as much as they like – they’ve been found out as gombeen men.”

    *rolls eyes – again*

  • Waitnsee

    Daily Ireland is of interest to hacks and politicos for the same reason An Phoblacht is – it’s a good way of reading the republican tea leaves, like the flurry of ‘comment’ pieces all talking up the same point about disbandment as referred to above.
    How interesting this is for the general reader I guess we’ll find out over the next few years.

  • patmclarnon

    ‘“Seriously, Mick.. that its columnists felt [or were told] they had to defend the Provisional Movement about that indicates the fundamental problem the paper has”’

    Just the right balance of scurrilous innuendo and comment by peteb (repeated by mickhall) that always seems to get by the moderators of this site.

  • Confused

    Oilbhear Chromaill, if you could answer the question(s) instead of calling me names? I make no comment on the content of the paper whatsoever I am interested in the numbers. I will repeat my questions once again.

    Oilbhear, I ask this because it would seem that the republican project is dire straits if that is what is considered a real thirst. Does no one think the hyperbole undermines the reality? As you say, 9,000 is on the way to 20,000, but is it “a monumental achievement” and demonstrating a “real thirst”? Or is it a steady, albeit not meteoric, and certainly not overwhelming, start on the path to where Daily Ireland hopes to go? Why the (over) hype?

    However, these are the questions I would really like answered. I do not understand how this is “success” in the way it was touted. It is, obviously, not dismal, certainly not in the vein that prompted Daily View to fold, but it is also not the overwhelming tidal wave of sales that the pictures being painted by its supporters created. It is basically the daily Andersonstown News. Had that been what the producers of Daily Ireland set out to do and promised to do, it would be easy to see it as the success it is being claimed. However, that is not what was promised. Can you, or anyone, friend or foe of the paper, please explain how these figures are the success it is being called.

    Using Actively Purchased figures (UK & ROI).

    If:

    The Irish News sells 49,955 copies of the paper in the wider north

    and

    The Andersonstown News sells 8,457 copies of the paper in greater Belfast

    and

    Daily Ireland sells 9,787 copies of the paper in all of Ireland

    Then:

    How is that considered “success”?

    40,000 fewer copies sold than the Irish News yet Daily Ireland is distributed in a larger area;

    Only 1,330 more copies sold than its sister publication, the Andersonstown News, which is restricted to a very narrow geographic area, while again Daily Ireland is sold and marketed to the whole of the island? Only 1,330 more people in all of Ireland are buying Daily Ireland than are buying the Andersonstown News in Belfast?

    This is success?

    How?

    Another question that has not been addressed.

    If anyone, those who support Daily Ireland and those who are not fond of the paper, can explain how attracting 1,000 more readers from all across Ireland, than the Andersonstown News draws in Belfast, is to be considered a success?

    Thank you to those who address any of these questions, especially those whose answer is not simply to call me a gombeen man for asking them.

  • Confused

    Sorry, one other question that has not been addressed, if you please.

  • Waitnsee

    Confused – it is, as you say, no great triumph and no evidence at all of massive pent-up demand for a slavishly Sinn Fein publication.
    However it is also not bad, considering the difficulties in launching any new title anywhere, but especially here and now, not least given the almost complete lack of promotion and the numerous republican cocks-ups of the past few months.

    Oliver’s hyperbole is completely over the top as you say but he is probably just being sensitive to criticism of what I strongly suspect is a project close to his heart (????)

    I hope others will attempt to answer your questions as they have rather obviously been avoiding them.

  • Mick Hall

    Mick Hall is inaccurate about his claim about the Jock interview re the McCartney case being carried without comment. There was a trenchant editorial in the same edition which prompted several angry letters and text messages if subsequent editions were anything to go by.

    Posted by: Oilbhear Chromaill at June 23, 2005 04:14 PM

    Oilbhear Chromaill
    There may well have been an editorial in the same edition as the jock interview, but that was not the point I was making and I fear you know it. My point was the article in question appeared as if ‘jock’ called in a favor, made his comments and left the building, possibly leaving the DI editorial staff with their mouths wide open, hence their editorial. The man by and large made a statement, he appears not to have been challenged, next day the statement appeared in the paper in full. As I said a poor show as it did not enlighten the readers a jot, bar the man had access to the pages of a national daily.

    The problem with using editorials to get a political message across is so few people ever read them, myself i cannot remember when I last read one. Maybe im mistaken about this and the first page people turn to is the editorial. I see them [in all papers] as an editorial device used to keep the papers owner, political benefactors or share holders happy.

    Pat, if you feel my comments were scurrilous, you must lead a very sheltered life these days

    regards to all.

  • Mike

    Having survived for 120+ issues is in itself a
    success, if it can survive another 120 it will probably be here to stay.

    The relaunch of The Irish News did it the most damage.

    To achieve 10,000 sales with very little promotion in a declining marketplace is a huge achievement.

  • PatMcLarnon

    mickhall,

    not sheltered at all, perhaps you or peteb would care to put some names to the columnists you feel, ‘ felt [or were told] they had to defend the Provisional Movement.’

  • Mick Hall

    mickhall,

    not sheltered at all, perhaps you or peteb would care to put some names to the columnists you feel, ‘ felt [or were told] they had to defend the Provisional Movement.’

    Posted by: PatMcLarnon at June 24, 2005 05:36 PM

    Pat,
    The point I was making by agreeing with what Peteb wrote, was in the main the DI columnists were agreeing with the party line. There is nothing wrong with this if DI is to become a Party paper. What I have tried to do, is point out in my humble opinion, it would have a better future if some of its columnist’s put some clear water between themselves and the party line. I’m not talking about the odd unionist columnist, although this would be fine too, but people with progressive politics which differ from SF on certain issues. Even the Belfast Telegraph give McCann a column and the paper is better for it.

    Without sounding like a little girl/boy, I do feel you are being a little over zealous here, as whenever I have written anything about DI I have tried to be both optimistic about its future and constructive. If it annoys you so be it, but I long ago stopped believing in my Country, Party, paper/whatever, right or wrong.
    I wish you well.

  • PatMcLarnon

    mickhall,

    so rather and try and substantiate the scurrilous innuendo you and peteb insinuated at DI columnists you retreat into self serving waffle, have to say it but it is typical.

  • Waitnsee

    Pat, Mick Hall is one of the most thoughtful, polite and respected posters on this site.

    He is the last person you should subject to one of your tiresome little tirades. Change the record Pat.