If traditional coverage of U.K. political matters is too dreary for some, then U.K. daily newspaper The Sun has come up with a response. The tabloid has launched an “irreverent” political website in the run-up to the U.K. general election in May.
The mobile-friendly site, SunNation, exists outside The Sun’s online subscription model and is billed as an “experiment.”
Historically, British newspapers, in particular tabloids such as News U.K.’s The Sun and the left-leaning Daily Mirror, have been influential among voters during election campaigns. However, The Sun’s paywall, added in 2013, may interfere with its potential reach and diminish its impact, especially among younger voters.
SunNation is designed for smartphones and tablets and features jokey lists, infographics, polls, and quizzes alongside other content. The site was launched with exclusive footage from the “Cam Cam”, a pinhole camera Prime Minister David Cameron wore for a day, which showed him going about his day-to-day business as well as a spot of cooking in the kitchen at Number 10 Downing Street.
The Sun website editor Tim Gatt reportedly says the aim is for SunNation to be “loud and disruptive” and to tell stories, some of which are repurposed from The Sun newspaper and Sun.co.uk website, in a “shareable” way. There is also a social section by Storyful (acquired by News Corp in 2013) that curates entertaining social media posts.
Although Gatt has claimed SunNation can “appeal to people of any political persuasion,” the cruelest jokes so far seem to be at the expense of the Labour Party. Two interactive games, one featuring bacon sandwich throwing and the other pink bus parking, exploit some less-than-triumphant moments for Labour leader Ed Miliband and deputy leader Harriet Harman.