Newsprint doesn’t get on my fingers

Diamond Geezer has an excellent and amusing post about the new free evening newspapers now available in London (there’s more from Enemy Radar). London Lite launched last week, and thelondonpaper launched yesterday. Both compete with the existing Evening Standard, for which commuters have to pay.

I’ve been travelling in and out of London regularly for most of this year, and I was on the Tube last night and several evenings last week. As far as I’m concerned, these wondrous new freebies are mythical. I can’t seem to find where they get handed out, so I can’t see what all the fuss is about. Diamond Geezer mentions “blokes in glizty lilac” and “pushy volunteers in cheap purple jackets”, none of whom I have seen. I assumed that the papers would be available in Metro-style dispensing bins at stations. No sign of them there. Maybe I travel too late; or else, quiet stations such as London Waterloo, Bond Street and White City are not blessed with distibution points.

To tell the truth, I have glimpsed both of the hallowed journals over the shoulders of fellow cattle commuters over the past few days. London Lite certainly looked like showbiz gossip and not much else, while thelondonpaper seemed to be trying to take a more upmarket approach, in look if not in content.

I’ve never spent my money on the Standard – the morning Metro seems to last just long enough to cover my morning and evening Tube trips, and to be filled with enough showbiz prattle and day-old news anyway. As I travel in and out of town, I prefer to read weblogs via a feedreader.

All rather pointless. Good luck to all three publications, but I won’t be consuming any of them.

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4 thoughts on “Newsprint doesn’t get on my fingers”

  1. There’s a reason you haven’t seen any in the stations: the right to distribute papers inside stations is valuable and TFL auction it. They make a lot of money from the morning Metro monopoly and will soon be auctioning a similar concession for the evening, I believe.

    This is why City AM is handed out only outside stations and why neither free evening paper is available inside the stations…

    So…. if you’re changing at zone one stations in the evening, you will not get a handout… you need to *enter* (or leave) a station in zone one…. and will experience no shortage of paper-hander-outers…. (I lost count of the number of London Lite distributors I passed between South Bank and Waterloo last Friday)

    For what it’s worth, thelondonpaper is immeasuably better than London Lite…. given the different intentions of their proprietors (“kill the “Standard” “protect the Standard”), I guess this isn’t too surprising.

  2. Interesting. Always good to have your valuable commentary, Richard – I was unaware of this distribution issue, although it makes a lot of sense. No distributors outside White City tube at my point of departure in the evenings, but like I said, I suspect that I’m not all that interested, anyway…

  3. “. No distributors outside White City tube at my point of departure in the evenings, but like I said, I suspect that I’m not all that interested, anyway…”


    I believe they’re focussing on zone 1 to start with…. but one or other of them will be reserving the right to spread out if necessary to hit their circulation numbers.

    e.g. City AM is distributed at Limehouse in Docklands (zone 2)

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