The Londonpaper

londonpaper image

I came to London 4 years ago. One day, after getting off from work, I was approached by a man that wanted to give me a newspaper. Assuming that I would have to pay for it, I shrugged him off. The same happened the next day and the day after that. Just as I would get off from work and would turn around the corner, the same man would wait to give me the newspaper.

On the fourth day, I noticed many other people taking the guy’s newspaper without having to pay anything. This man was actually handing free newspapers! I decided to give the newspaper a try. After all, how bad could it be?

The newspaper was called The Londonpaper and it was not bad after all. In fact, I later found out that it was a successful daily, free newspaper recording interesting fact around the world but maily the daily beat, buzz, gossip and happenings in London. As far as I could tell, it was written by young, enthusiastic people and was a combination of relaxed attitude and witty language. But above all, it would inform Londoners of what was going on in town.

Londonpaper was certainly not the only weekday newspaper in London. It competed against “London Lite”, which was distributed around the same time in the afternoon and “Metro“, typically found at tube stations in the morning. But Londonpaper easily outclassed its competitors not only for its editorial flair, its variety of regular columns and features but also for its colourful appearance and exemplary editorial design. In fact, it was featured in Zappatera’s superb book “Editorial Design” as an example of a fresh approach to editorial layout.

It was such a surprise that on Thursday, 17th September, I read that the londonpaper had only another day left before closing down. At the time of writing of this post, I had not searched for the reasons for this closure. But I am willing to take a (wild?) guess: the current economic downturn led to a rapid decrease in advertising revenue, rendering the entire project of running and distributing a free newspaper financially unattainable.

From Monday 21 September, no more restaurant reviews, no more relationship talk by Andy in his column “man about town”, no more lovestruck, no more pet of the day, image of the day, no more gay man about town by Joshua and, above all, no more city girl and Em cartoons. Luckily, some of the regular columners have already hinted to us where we will find them next after we exit our offices on Monday and momentarily feel the void of the man not being there to hand us our londonpaper fix of the day.

So, so long Londonpaper. You have been a fantastic getaway from the daily sorrows of work and the perfect way to clear my thoughts after a busy day.You have been the casual read during the tube ride, a careless browse at my couch before the gym and, above all, the perfect guide to all things London.



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