Northern Ireland

Revamped Irish News shaped by readers

The design process was informed by a panel of experts representing key sectors across society
The design process was informed by a panel of experts representing key sectors across society The design process was informed by a panel of experts representing key sectors across society

THE new-look Irish News celebrates the newspaper’s rich heritage and history while placing it at the forefront of a changing media landscape.

That is the view from media experts, business leaders and civic voices as The Irish News unveils its revamped print edition.

It has already been a year of significant change for the paper, which was founded in 1891, as it moved from its historic home in Belfast’s Donegall Street to new headquarters in the Fountain Centre.

A key part of the redesign process involved listening to the views of readers through a programme of extensive market research.

The paper also enlisted a panel of experts representing key sectors across society, many of them loyal readers themselves, and they were full of praise for the new look.

The importance of changing with the times was highlighted by the GAA’s director of communications, Alan Milton, who said the redesign “rejuvenates” The Irish News and “breathes fresh life” into the brand.

“I'm looking forward to seeing how others receive it. I think it has the potential to chart a very positive course for the paper for the next 10 years,” he said.

GAA director of communications Alan Milton
GAA director of communications Alan Milton GAA director of communications Alan Milton

“I think it's important that all media entities refresh themselves every few years. It's important to remain connected with the young generations and the new people who are consuming media.”

He added of The Irish News: “It’s an incredibly well-established all-Ireland entity. It's independent, it's trusted, and it has an unrivalled understanding of the affairs of this island.”

Irish News columnist and political commentator Brian Feeney was another member of the panel. He said the title is the “voice of the northern nationalist people”.

“It’s what people turn to in order to find out the opinions of nationalist thinkers, writers and politicians, and they won’t get that anywhere else,” he said.

Irish News columnist Brian Feeney
Irish News columnist Brian Feeney Irish News columnist Brian Feeney

Speaking of the new design, Mr Feeney said: “I think it’s excellent. Smart-looking, clever, innovative – it’s what a modern newspaper should look like.”

Olivia Stewart, senior communications and engagement manager with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, said The Irish News brand “has a real history and heritage about it”.

She said the redesign will ensure the paper remains “relevant and sharp in a digital era”.

“The Irish News is a really important publication in my life. It's been a part of my family’s lives and the fabric of our house for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Olivia Stewart is senior communications and engagement manager with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce
Olivia Stewart is senior communications and engagement manager with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Olivia Stewart is senior communications and engagement manager with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce

Kieran Donnelly, managing director of PR consultancy Morrow Communications, said The Irish News is “preparing itself for the future and looking forward, which every media outlet needs to do”.

He said: “For me, it’s an institution. It's an organisation that has never stood still. It stays true to its values, integrity, and quality of journalism. And I think that's clearly what the rebrand is about.”

Kieran Donnelly is managing director of PR consultancy Morrow Communications
Kieran Donnelly is managing director of PR consultancy Morrow Communications Kieran Donnelly is managing director of PR consultancy Morrow Communications

Mary Nagele, CEO of Arts and Business NI, said the new design “speaks to the history” of The Irish News “and what people love about it”.

“It’s a modern and fresh perspective that I think will help it stand out across multiple platforms,” she said, adding of the paper: “It’s deeply rooted in the history of this place and its people.”

Mary Nagele is CEO of Arts and Business NI
Mary Nagele is CEO of Arts and Business NI Mary Nagele is CEO of Arts and Business NI

Meanwhile, Roseann Kelly, CEO of Women in Business, described the revamp as “fabulous”, adding: “I think readers will really enjoy the new branding, it's very clever.”

She said attitudes in the north are changing quickly following a dramatic decade that has included the Brexit vote.

“People's views of the world have changed, and the newspaper has to change with the times and really reflect this,” she said.

Roseann Kelly is CEO of Women in Business
Roseann Kelly is CEO of Women in Business Roseann Kelly is CEO of Women in Business