Sue Gray, along with Tony Blair, is pleased with the new-look New
To me, the New Statesman always seemed to be an outmoded soap box for
politically correct academics. A redesign and a new editor...I was
The intended change in readership of the title is rather glibly
articulated by a comparison of the ads carried on the back covers of
the 7 June (old design) and 14 June (new design) issues. Football tee-
shirts with philosophical slogans - plus order coupon - have been
replaced by an ad for the Jaguar XJ Executive.
Does the advertising presence of Jaguar, along with BP and British Gas,
herald the acceptance by big business of the New Statesman as a forum
for political debate?
There has been a lot of press interest in the redesign and the new
editor, Ian Hargreaves (previously with the Independent, the FT and the
BBC). But success will depend on his achieving the aim of doubling
circulation by broadening the title’s appeal, both in terms of the
political orientation of readers and the subject matter.
The redesign has certainly made the New Statesman visually more
appealing. It looks contemporary and readable.
Several articles focused on interesting subjects but an over-reliance on
gossip was limiting. There was much that was thought-provoking - from
Asian economics to comprehensive schools and, of course, football.
So, will the New Statesman become, once again, required political and
cultural reading? I found reviewing it more enjoyable than I expected.
But, of more relevance (presumably), the leader of the Opposition, Tony
Blair, is reported to have been impressed and, from the opposite camp,
so was William Rees-Mogg...
Sue Gray is the media research manager at Motive Communications