As I pick up The New Day it strikes me how light it is. I wasn’t expecting the Sunday Times but at 40 pages it doesn't feel like it would see a lot of people through an average commute or even a long coffee break, especially as the word count across those 40 pages is kept in check by a lot of pictures, a large font and a clear commitment to brevity.
My other initial thought is about that name. The New Day. It sounds like it should be a religious cult, living in a commune in California.
But naming a newspaper in 2016 can’t be easy, nor can launching one. However, this is no ordinary newspaper, we are told. It has no political bias, apparently and no weekly columnists (which should save a few quid). It promises more debate and discussion and has done away with a sport section at the back of the paper.
So where is the sport?
The answer to that question tells us quite a lot about The New Day and its desire to be different. There’s a smattering of sport on pages 16 and 17 where there are 18 news-in-brief pieces, each around 40 or 50 words. Even with sport making a surprise reappearance on page 26 with a slightly longer piece, there is none of the depth you’d find in other papers' sports sections. It is just a random digest of some sports stories.
But sport is an obsession well served online, on radio and on television all weekend and as The New Day looks to differentiate itself perhaps it saw little point in spending time and money on sport come Monday morning. But then, why do it at all? Do it, or don’t do it, but don’t sort of not do it. And that is a feeling I have a few times as I read the paper. There is a similar approach to much of the news coverage - a quick-fire rattling through of some stories you may have seen elsewhere, on pages two and three (much like a light version of the same pages in the i newspaper). Then there are a few more nibs dotted about.
None of this is an accident or oversight. The paper clearly states it is "dedicated to ruthlessly editing the world's events" and is deliberately trying not to "bombard" readers with too much information.
I definitely don’t feel bombarded, though all this brevity does make more room for the debate and discussion which The New Day clearly wants to focus on.
A guest article attributed to Prime Minister David Cameron addresses "Our Big Decision" – the EU referendum. (The paper does like "Big". It also has a "Big Read", a "Big Question" and a "Bigger Picture" section). Cameron's case for staying in the EU is contrasted with doubts expressed by a mum-of-two teacher from London – in keeping with the paper's up front promise to represent the views of everybody "be they the Prime Minister or passer-by on the street". The spread is well designed and supplemented with statistics and key facts. The same is true of its front page lead - a report on child carers that runs over pages six and seven inside.
It’s still a fairly quick read but it is packaged up with relevant case studies and statistics and quickly gets to the heart of matter. It is the most interesting thing in today's paper and deserving of its place on the front page.
The format of The New Day certainly encourages people to keep scanning and keep turning the pages, with its quick fire content in snippets, rather than sections. There are some top tips and a 'news from around the web' page with tweets and the obligatory celebrity selfies and gossip. And with that the paper becomes much as you might expect from any other paper - with some weather, TV recommendations, horoscopes and a few puzzles that might give The New Day a fighting chance of filling that commute or coffee break after all.
But whether all of this gives it a fighting chance of survival is less clear. It is certainly a brave move to launch a newspaper in 2016, but the paper itself isn't as brave as the decision to launch it. While it feels a little different in places, it doesn't feel different enough. .
Another reader, Fred Dutton, suggested the "content felt pretty thin", however, he praised the "measured, civilised tone" and described it as "refreshing". Lisa Cunningham said she appreciated a "lack of nastiness" about the paper, but Sam Boshier said "it's not for me", adding there is "not enough meat to the articles" - a comment echoed by reader Alexandra Womack.
Having tried it for free on launch day, some readers raised questions about the 50p cover price The New Day will be charging.
"No way is it worth 50p", said Joseph Begley, adding that it "makes the i look like War and Peace by comparison".