Thursday, October 28, 2010

i Spy: or what possessed The Independent to launch another newspaper?

 Why oh why, did The Independent launch i?

It is a question that has me befuddled ever since I read the first copy of this tabloid-sized newspaper that launched two days ago – the first national newspaper to be launched in Britain in 25 years. I actually read the paper for three days running to try and figure that out.

It is not that I don’t think there is a need for a newspaper, a proper paper publication at that, in the UK. The endlessness of news over the web – the twitter feeds, facebook updates, rss feeds, google news updates and reams and reams of endless commentary – does make me wish for a one-stop shop every morning for all the important events of the day past.

But I wanted it be real news – facts and information that would clue me into the important issues surrounding my life. I didn’t want to be entertained. I didn’t want gossip. I didn’t want lifestyle features. And I certainly didn’t want views and commentary telling me what to think about the issues at hand. I have enough media at my fingertips to do just that for FREE. I only wanted facts – the bare bones to build my own opinion on, if I cared enough about the issue.

That is exactly what i claimed it would do. It was supposed to be “a new kind of a paper” giving you your “essential daily briefing” that “cuts through this information overload to give you all you need”. Only it came filled with features like “Are you getting your oats?”, “best toys in town”, “10 best leggings” reviews on films, theatre and books, tv listings, and still more commentaries and views on television, arts, business, sports and politics to add to the existing media cacophony.

But it is only 20p, The Independent says. The point is I would still have to take a detour to a newsstand or at the very least, stop by a streetside vendor, search through my handbag, and extract 20p for the pleasure. For that much effort, wouldn’t I want to treat myself to a real newspaper?


Anonymous said...

it is a newspaper of tweets, i don't get it either

prerna said...

Well, you as a reader do not represent the whole lot! Believe it not most people want to have the impression that they are new paper reading lot that is why they suscribe to Mumbai Mirror type of new paper that gives no genuine news but is a newspaper nonetheless!

globalbabble said...

Hi Prerna,

I think we are looking at two very different media markets. India is a country where readership for print publications is growing. In England, it has been declining for a long time. So if you want people to pick up a new newspaper, you have to think innovately. And don't think i brings anything new to the table.