Jules Grudniewicz

Manchester is to get a new free newspaper – but only for a week. And in a complete reversal of current thinking on newspapers and digital, this limited edition piece of dead tree media has been thought up by none other than tech giant microsoft.

Called The Five to Nine the commuter newspaper is intended to ‘inspire and encourage people to get out of the office and do what’s creatively and personally important to them’.

Speaking at the launch of the newspaper, campaigns and partnerships manager for Microsoft Devices in UK & Ireland, Jules Grudniewicz explained: “With time so often at a premium, Microsoft Lumia is committed to enabling people to get the most out of their days. Using the combined power of Microsoft devices, we will create a fresh new publication that will help commuters go to work with a smile on their faces, reinvigorated.”

The tech company doesn’t have people called editors or journalists working on sections, instead the newspaper has curators and themes. The themes each day include ‘protein’, which looks at culture, Boiler Room which looks at music and of course sport gets a look in with The Green Soccer Journal.

The publications will also pick up on the current trend for a more positive news agenda. In a press release explaining that element, the company says: “Microsoft Lumia believe that when people are happy and inspired they work more efficiently, so whilst most newspapers lead with stories on crime, disasters and scandal, The Five to Nine newspaper will focus on positive, uplifting content.”

The five daily issues will be published between 22 June and 26 June and distributed the following morning to Manchester’s ‘transport hubs’ ie. train stations.

The papers are also being distributed in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh.

* Gimmick or welcome relief? What do you think of the different approach?