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“In print we trust” – magazines make the difference
24 . 08 . 17

courting niche audiences in print

Words by: Print Power
We look at two new print titles enjoying success thanks to their niche readership

The New European was launched in July 2016 as a response to the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union. Initially planned as a quick series of just four editions, it attracted a readership that has steadied around 20,000 and, almost a year later, is still appearing weekly. Matt Kelly, a seasoned editor, positions the title as “We are the 48%”.

The development of the newspaper was a quick process, with just nine days to produce content and publish after the referendum. It was first seen during early July and sold around 40,000 copies. Without any advertising or marketing the newspaper has quickly gained popularity as Tony Blair has referenced the newspaper as a call for all remainers to mobilise against Brexit. The newspaper also became the talking point on a national TV debate between Nigel Faragae, Piers Morgan and Alistair Campbell.  

Kelly “hopes” the paper will last as long as the Brexit process, however long that is. The challenge, he says, is to make it interesting enough so readers feel “it’s part of their lives and says something about them still” after it.

A real niche title: OK Jailbirds

Elsewhere, the founder of OK Jailbirds, David Reid is Oklahoma's most popular mugshot tabloid owner. This niche, compact newspaper has gained its popularity by publishing the names and mugshots of everyone arrested in the past 30 days. This is public information which David uses to create a source of entertainment for his readers. 

Sources suggest that many people pick up a copy just to see whether someone they know have featured on the front page. The popularity is evident as 80,000 copies are circulated per month.  

Reid defends the tabloid by suggesting this is a public service, which will decrease crime in the long run. But critics argue that for those who wind up in print, the paper can permanently tarnish their reputations, as this is a portrayal of a person in a negative light, even if charges against them were dropped or they are simply innocent.

Whatever argument you think is most relevant, the number of readers prove the success of this pretty weird title. The full story on the OK Jailbird mugshot tabloid can be seen here.