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A few years ago there were no free newspapers in London. One would buy a copy of the evening standard for around 40p. However recently in London several free newspapers are distrubuted. Anyone who walks down the streets of Central London will see people dressed in London Lite t-shirts
waving newspapers in front of anyone who passes by. In areas with high traffic such as Oxford Street this can be a problem. Streets are already over capacity, the last thing needed is three people blocking a busy street handing out newspapers.
On to the newspaper itself, London Lite is free but the content doesn't compare to that of a newspaper that one pays for. The style of writing and quality of journalism is poor, comparable to that of the level of writing on dooyoo. Some times I wonder if those employed to write London Lite are paid real wages or maybe they receive miles that can be cashed in for amazon vouchers everytime they submit an article. There's just no real depth to anything written in the London Lite but then again there's nothing interesting to read about going on in London. If you really want to read a London newspaper buy the Evening Standard.
The London Lite is a free London newspaper circulated in all zones of the capital after midday. It is owned by the same people as the Evening Standard and is pretty much a Lite version of the Standard. It can be picked up from little trollies, is handed out by an army of paper people all around London or found on any bus or tube station sat waiting for someone to read it.
The paper deals with the issues of the day but also has some really good sections, it has small sections for newsbites, covers the events bothering London in detail and world news slightly less.
The gossip section is pointless and seems devoted to Jaime Winstone, Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and a few others evenings out, there are sections reviewing films and theatre, sections reviewing restaurants and bars and clubs.
There are sections for dating, tv guides, adverts, cartoons, sport and business news. Its free and its well presented, much better presented than its rival 'The London Paper' although not always as strong journalistically. Its a welcome addition for commuters and helps make the journey home that bit quicker and more interesting. My favourite sections are the restaurant reviews which are honest, thorough and based on people with budgets and the sports section which is only 3 pages long but covers an awful lot relating to London sport within it.
London Lite - A lite fun filled ink free entertainer
My office is in central London and I often pick a London Lite on my way back home.
You can get your free copy across all zone one tube stations every evening in weekdays.
What is so good?
1. The newspaper is a tiny little tabloid size package for variety of news and gossip. To me it covers all essential sections to keep me glued to it through your tube journey or bus travel
2. I personally like message board page written by various readers which talk about contemporary problems and issues.
3. London Lite also covers Travel and Lifestyle sections very lucidly and you can get information of celebrity hot spot and fashion. Entertainment is another section which is very informative and tells you umpteen avenues to plan your day out or dream evening in London as you can treat this as a channel to get information about theatre, opera, and concert.
4.To me the last few pages of sports section is also very detailed and brings out all premier leagues and cricketing action from around the world.
5.You must have seen the advertisement about ink-free paper and really London lite stands out to its promise and leaves no black stain mark or ink blotch in your hand.This is one of the USP claimed by this paper.
Not so good:
1.If you are a finance or economy wizard then you will be disappointed with this as the coverage is run of the mill.
2.If you are looking for some educative journalism or thought provoking material I am sorry to say you are looking at the wrong paper..
Overall I would give a thumbs up for this as it has achieved what it has set out for -Entertaining your way back home and no brain taxer.
Next time just pick up a free copy and sneak a look.........
Back in the day, The Metro used to be the only free paper around for commuters into London until about 2 years ago (August 2006) when the London Lite was born. This has now become my favourite commuter paper. The London Lite is the sister paper of The Metro, both owned by Associated Newspapers, the same media group that owns the Daily Mail.
The London Lite is an afternoon/evening free paper that most people get on their commute home. Like the Metro it can be found outside most tube stations and high commuter areas in London. It is printed from Monday to Friday.
What I like about the London Lite is that it is a bit more geared towards life in London than the Metro is, which is also available in localised cities across the UK. As it is an afternoon paper it generally reports on that days news as well as things that have happened the night before. It does have some international news but it is definitely more focused on London news, who did what in London last night, what celebrities went where, etc, etc. According to an article I read, the London Lite is actually designed to be especially attractive to younger female readers and features a wide range of lifestyle articles but less news and business news than other papers. This would probably be why I really like this paper, I'm bang in their target audience, and my husband is not fussed with it. The middle section of the paper is a full page, colour spread with photos of celebs the night before, talking about the parties/restaurants they went to and what they were wearing. I do quite like this portion of the paper for a bit of "lite" reading.
The inside page features a cartoon from Gary Larson and the Far Side which is generally quite funny. Then there is a London message board where people's letters about a topical subject are posted. Then, they have a small column, and this is my favourite part of the whole paper, entitled "Get it off your text," where people text in a short sentence asking a funny question or responding to someone's text from the day before. For example, someone may text in and ask about ways in which he should propose to his girlfriend. Then the next day there will be quite a lot of text responses. Sometime the texts are really funny and I find myself laughing out loud at them.
What I also like about this paper is that they have lots of little columns which run every day focusing on different things. For example, one of them is entitle, "Timew@ster, what to browse when the boss isn't looking," which gives examples of different web pages. They have a paper dedicated to what is going on in London that night in music, comedy, theatre and clubs which is also quite informing and they have a really good London restaurant review section too.
They also feature columns from guest writers than differ each day. All the columns are quite witty, although some weeks they are better than other. On Tuesday they have a section called, "Playing the Field," which features two singletons who share their search for love. Being a woman I really enjoy this section and it's nice to read about their exploits each week. They also set two single people up on a date and then they write about it afterwards in the paper.
Like all the other papers the London Lite has horoscopes, that evenings tv guide, puzzles and then the back pages are for sport with a little titbit each team about the football teams in London which is nice to read as my team, Luton Town are featured.
A fun paper to pass away the commuting minutes!
Hey this is cool, I pick this free paper up everyday in London on my way back home. There are a few people handing them out so it doesn't matter which way a walk I always manage to pick one up. My husband reads it more than me but on the odd occasion that I have read it, its been great. There is a good mix of news, sport and celebrity gossip. There is a really funny text column too that makes good reading. The sports pages are cool as they cover all the London clubs and as my other half supports Arsenal he always asks if I've picked him up a paper. All in all this paper is great as a free daily. I love the fact the ink doesn't come off on your hands and that for nothing you can keep up to date on all the current events. I love it!
I picked up tonight's copy of the Lite, quite by chance, from a seat in Holborn underground station. It was looking sad and abandoned, so I picked it up. I've not read the Lite for about a week, this mainly being due to my discovery of dooyoo. Since that fateful day my tube journeys have been mostly taken up by writing. For some unknown reason I've found that on the tube, I can write. Nowhere else, just on the tube. Why such horrific conditions should work for me, I have no idea.
Anyway, my sorry little Lite was waiting. I picked it up. Had a little scan. It was warm and familiar. I squeezed myself onto the already heaving tube and attempted to do that impossible thing that people do: reading and retaining dignity whilst you have your face in some nasty stranger armpit. In such conditions remaining standing is in itself enough of a challenge. Remarkably, at Tottenham Court Road - the first stop - I got a seat, which I plonked myself ungracefully into. Raising my Lite back to eyelevel it hit me. "Yes!" I thought, "I shall review YOU".
Of all the free London newpapers (the big three being the Lite, the Metro and the creatively named London Paper) the Lite has one massive advantage. As proudly announced by the Lite itself it is "Printed in ink that won't come off on your hands". So far, I've found this to be an accurate statement. I'm perhaps not sweaty to the extent of 'having a problem', but I'm definitely as sweaty as the next person and even through the summer I've not yet discovered the level of sweatage required to make the Lite bleed.
The Lite is published by Associated Newspapers Ltd (the people responsible for the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard) and was introduced during August 2006. That was the summer I moved to London and it was a swealterer, this subjecting the Lite to the sweat-test very early in it's life.
It is published every week day and is available all over Central London. Street vendors outside underground stations and in all busy pedestrian areas hand out the paper from around noon until they run out. This usually occurs around 7pm. Between the vendors for the London Lite and the London Paper, the streets of London have become just that little bit more hectic, making any attempt to get anywhere just that bit more stressful and obstacle ridden.
So, other than successfully keeping me clean (or as clean as it is possible to be in my dishevelled, potentially lunch-wearing, post-work state) what else is there that makes the Lite worth reviewing? Well, quite a bit.
PRICE: The Lite is FREE. I love a bargain, and if I can get something for nothing even better! Of course, it isn't the only free paper but that just leads me back to the whole ink conversation again and I've bored you with that one enough already.
SIZE: The pages are a nice small 'tabloidy' size which suggests the publishers have put some thought into where the paper is likely to be read and developed a paper of appropriate size to allow for reading in cramped spaces and limited annoyance of fellow passengers. Of course, there is always that person in your carriage who insists on taking up maximum space by not folding the paper at all and reading it in such a way that he can see both pages side by side. If you have one of these near you, the Lite can be a bit annoying. But Lite or no-Lite, this particular breed of passenger will always find a way of seemingly obliviously taking up too much room and causing you great annoyance.
IMPACT ON THE CITY: The Lite and all other free papers have had two big disadvantages on the City of London. The first, as I mentioned before, is the vendors. London really didn't need any more annoying people placed prominently in the busiest and most inconvenient of places. It makes getting anywhere frustrating, and getting anywhere fast impossible.
The second issue is litter. Any tube carriage or station at the end of the day is a scene of utter carnage. They are all over the floors, the escalators, the seats, etc. etc. Stepping into a tube fairly late at night when rush-hour is a fading memory, the feeling you get is one that says 'ooh, something BAD happened here'.
So, unless you too live in London and frequently scan the Lite pages (either your own or over the shoulder of others), you might be wondering what lies within the magically non-inky paper. Let me tell you....
NEWS: Fountain of all knowledge it might not be, and detailed it most certainly is not. But, it is informative, and there is just enough information for me to get an idea as to what is going on in the world and probably blag a bit of conversation with people more interested in current affairs than myself.
The news articles are very short, but this is probably the most I can cope with after a long day at work and whilst packed so tightly into a carriage that attempting to read at all is actually quite difficult. It is scannable, and therefore just about possible to 'read' when any personal space at all is quite a luxury.
GOSSIP AND CELEBRITY 'NEWS': The shenanigans of 'celebrities' is quite a heavy feature of the Lite, and this is presented in the gossipy style of trash like 'Now' magazine. This isn't really my thing, in so much as I'd never spend actual money on magazines devoted to such gossip. However, it's nice and mindless, and from time to time it does appeal to my nosey nature. As with the news, it is presented in a way which requires absolutely no brain power to digest. Again, this is perfect for the audience of evening commuters.
MESSAGEBOARD: This is a page written by the readers of the Lite, comprising of letters written on given subjects. Today's dealt primarily with the Olympic parade and whether or not this should have been held over the weekend. The letters were the usual mix of passionately 'for' and desperately 'against'.
Also in this section is the nicely titled 'Get it off your Text'. This is an inspired feature which often makes for entertaining reading. The concept is that you send in a text about whatever it is that is bugging you - as the Lite puts it 'Your Mobile Moans'. You get the most out of this section if you read it every day, as often grumpy texters will be texting in response to other grumpy texters from the prior day. Today, most were of that nature, and as I'd not read the Lite for about a week, it wasn't as much fun as normal, a little confusing even.
TRAVEL: Generally, the travel pages are made up of the short coverage of a destination titled 'Celebrity Hot Spot', in which the recent holiday destination of choice of some random celebrity is briefly reviewed. There will also be a longer article reviewing another destination in much more detail. At almost two full pages, this is quite a long article in 'Lite' terms. The usefulness of this will vary depending on the writer and the appeal that the destination covered holds for you. A short paragraph will also be given to 4 or 5 other locations under a small column called 'Taking Off'. If you have a bit of cash and are looking for places to visit, this can provide valid ideas. But only in so much as it is like someone saying to you, "Ooooh, have you thought of Zurich?" You'd have to do a lot more research yourself.
HEALTH, FASHION AND LIFESTYLE: Newpaper magazine supplement type articles dealing with such areas of life often appear in the Lite. As with newspaper supplements, or in-flight magazines, they are generic enough to appeal to the masses whilst lacking the focus that would be required to appeal to readers with specific interests in such areas.
ENTERTAINMENT: The Lite contains a 12 page guide detailing what can be done that evening in London, whether going out or staying in. This is a mix of articles and reviews along with a guide to the evening's television. The guide includes details on theatre, opera, music gigs, dance events, art exhibitions, cinema...basically, anything that could be broadly classed as 'entertainment'. I find the guide provided by the Lite to be very comprehensive and one of the more useful of the London guides provided in the free papers.
PUZZLES: I'm a big fan of Sudoku, and I love to be able to play this when I am stuck on the train. The Lite does not disappoint. It includes three Sudoku puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty (one of which you can win a prize for if you submit the winning numbers to them to go in a draw), as well as a Circular Sudoku (formally known as Spidoku for any fans out there). I've not seen this puzzle anywhere before and will often pick up the Lite just for this. There are a few other regular puzzles e.g. Test your T.V. knowledge (I'm glad to say I can't play this, being someone who rarely bothers with T.V.), and a cross word. There is also a cartoon strip and horoscope.
BUSINESS: The business section is not very long, perhaps giving an insight into the intended audience of the Lite. As with news in general, it is presented in bite-sized chunks giving you the minimum of information.
SPORT: I know absolutely nothing about sport, so I can't really comment as to if it is any good or not. It is approximately six pages long and covers the main big events that have occurred in the sporting world. I imagine if I read these pages, it would give me just enough to vaguely follow, and possibly just about contribute to, a sports conversation. However, my lack of interest in the subject makes this mere speculation.
Overall, the Lite is a nice, free, clean and enjoyable read. Calling it a 'newspaper' is a tad on the ambitious side, and it's never going to win any awards for world class journalism, but, it makes no pretences and doesn't try to be anything other than what it is.
© BondgirlK8 October 2008