The Independent

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The Independent
Logo of the "Independent"
description British internet newspaper
publishing company Independent News & Media ( United Kingdom )
Headquarters London
First edition October 7, 1986
Frequency of publication daily Monday to Saturday, on Sunday "Independent on Sunday"
Range 0.397 million readers
( June 2017 )
Editor-in-chief Christian Broughton
Web link
Article archive 1999 ff.
ISSN (online)

The Independent is a British internet newspaper . Its headquarters are in Canary Wharf , London .

The Independent was first published as a daily newspaper in 1986 . It was one of the youngest British national daily newspapers. The weekday edition of the Independent won the British Press Award for National Newspaper of the Year in 2004. The Independent is published by the media company Independent News & Media .

In March 2010, the newspaper was bought by the Russian oligarch Alexander Evgenyevich Lebedev . The last edition printed on paper appeared on March 26, 2016; since then the newspaper has only been distributed digitally.


Founded in 1986

The Independent first appeared on October 7, 1986, making it the youngest of the British daily newspapers to come out in broadsheet format . Although the newspaper no longer appears in this format today, the other typical characteristics of a broadsheet newspaper still apply to the Independent. The founders were Andreas Whittam Smith, Stephen Glover and Matthew Symonds, three former editors of the Daily Telegraph who had left the Daily Telegraph after differences with William Michael Berry (Baron Hartwell) and now started their own company Newspaper Publishing Ltd. dared a fresh start. Marcus Sieff was the chairman of Newspaper Publishing, Smith the editor-in-chief of the paper.

At the time the paper was founded, there was a change in the British newspaper market, and Rupert Murdoch quarreled with the various unions in the publishing industry. In this troubled situation, The Independent was able to recruit numerous outstanding employees from Murdoch who would rather change sides than work under his tougher conditions. The newspaper's management also enjoyed a good relationship with the printing industry, largely because there was no great past to weigh on the relationship.

The Independent reached with the advertising slogan "It is. Are you? "(" It is. Are you? ") And an attack on the Guardian regarding the common left-liberal readership in 1989 a circulation of 400,000 copies. It led to a further development of the content and a refreshing design of many newspapers as well as to an extensive price war between the publishers. The market was very limited when the Independent also launched its own Sunday edition in 1990 and sales did not do as well as expected. Some parts of the editorial team were subsequently merged with those of the main edition for cost reasons, but the Sunday edition still largely retained its own editorial team.

In the 1990s, the Independent ran an advertising campaign against its two biggest rivals, the Times and the Daily Telegraph . To do this, she focused on the owners of the sheets, Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black . The two lines THE RUPERT MURDOCH and THE CONRAD BLACK , under which THE INDEPENDENT could be read, formed a motif .

Development after 1990

In the 1990s, the Independent's parent company , Newspaper Publishing, struggled financially. There was a threat of a development similar to that of other newspapers founded in the 1980s, which had died in the absence of a sufficient number of regular readers to guarantee the paper's liquidity. Both Tony O'Reilly's media company and Mirror Group Newspapers kept the newspaper alive in the summer of 1994 by purchasing substantial parts of the publisher. In March 1995 Newspapers Publishing was restructured. O'Reillys Independent News & Media received 43%, Mirror Group Newspapers also 43% and Prisa ( El País ) 12% of the shares. Co-founder Whittam Smith left the paper later that month.

There was another refinancing in April 1996, and in March 1998 O'Reilly bought the remaining 54% of the company for £ 30,000,000 and paid off the company's loans. Brendan Hopkins headed Independent News, Andrew Marr became editor-in-chief of the Independent , and Rosie Boycott took on the same role at the Independent on Sunday . Marr initiated a short-term redesign of the paper, which was criticized from many quarters (he himself described the redesign plans in retrospect as presumptuous in his semi-autobiographical work My Trade ), but remained a commercial error mainly due to the limited budget.

Boycott moved to the Daily Express in April 1998 , Marr left the paper in May 1998 (to later join the BBC as head of politics ), and Simon Kelner became the new editor-in-chief. At this point in time, the edition of the paper had already fallen to less than 200,000 copies. Independent News invested a lot of money to get the circulation back up and went through a number of redesigns. The circulation improved, but it did not reach the old 1989 highs or bring the company back into profitability. Jobs were cut and spending more controlled, which had an impact on journalists' daily work and morale. Ivan Fallon, who has served on the board since 1995 and once a key figure in the Sunday Times , succeeded Hopkins as CEO of Independent News & Media in July 2002. A cartoon by Dave Brown of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon published in the Independent in January 2003 sparked an anti-Semitism controversy. As recently as the summer of 2004, the newspaper was losing £ 5,000,000 a year. The trend reversal came in 2006, with circulation reaching a nine-year high.

Switch from broadsheet to tabloid

The Independent was originally produced in broadsheet format , but this was changed in September 2003 in favor of a choice between broadsheet and tabloid format (both editions were identical in content). The tabloid edition was called "Compact" to distinguish itself from the term tabloid journalism (in Great Britain tabloid stands for tabloids). The reduced format was well received by the readers. Rupert Murdoch's Times switched to the tabloid format shortly afterwards. Before the changeover, the Independent had a circulation of 217,500 copies, making it the smallest of the four major national daily newspapers. After the format change, the circulation rose by 15% in March 2004 to around 250,000 copies. In 2006 the circulation stagnated at the level of a quarter of a million copies. On May 14, 2004 the Independent stopped its broadsheet edition on working days; the Saturday edition had already done so in January. The Independent on Sunday was published for the last time as a broadsheet on October 9, 2005 , and the tabloid format was also used here . This made Sindie the first nationwide British Sunday newspaper to take this step.

On April 12, 2005, the Independent received a more European style through a radical redesign, which is partly reminiscent of the French newspaper Liberation . The second part of the weekday edition was merged with the first, double-sided background articles were established in the main news and there were changes to the front and back cover. Over a million pounds were spent on the makeover.

A new supplement, Extra , was introduced on April 25th . It is reminiscent of G2 of the Guardian or T2 of the Times and contains background articles, reports and games like Sudoku .

Setting the print output

On February 12, 2016, Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of the newspaper company, announced that the last printed edition of "Independent on Sunday" would be published on March 20, 2016 and the last printed edition of the weekly Independent on March 26, 2016. He announced that there would be a new paid mobile app in which the newspaper will continue to exist as a digital newspaper. The existing website should continue to exist, as it recorded a growth of 33% with 70 million visitors in 2015 and is profitable.

The short printed version of the website, called "I," which had a circulation of 268,000 copies, was sold for £ 25 million to media company Johnston Press PLC, the owners of The Scotsman .

Politics and readers

While the Independent claims to represent different political opinions and stated that a mixed parliament would be the best possible outcome of the 2005 elections, the newspaper is politically placed in the vicinity of the Liberal Democrats . A poll conducted by MORI from April to June 2000 showed that 60% of the Independent's readers voted for the Labor Party . A 2004 poll, also carried out by MORI, found that 39% of independent readers supported the Liberal Democrats, while 36% voted for the Labor Party.

The typical independent reader is politically moderate, liberal and educated above average, chooses the Liberal Democrats or Labor and is interested in environmental protection. These values ​​have had a direct impact on the style of the newspaper. The newspaper advocates proportional representation and measures against climate change. In the first half of the 2000s there were often critical editorials on George W. Bush , Tony Blair, and Israeli foreign policy. In 2005, The Independent initiated campaigns to replace majority voting with proportional representation and against the introduction of ID cards in the UK. The paper also published campaigns against restricting immigration to the UK. Many articles are written by female or minority journalists.

The Independent criticizes the oversized reporting of other newspapers about the British royal family. When the wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles was announced, the Independent published the news in a small box on the front page along with eleven other reports under the heading "Here is the news you may have missed" ("Here is the news, that you may have missed ”). The paper proceeds similarly to the birth of new members of the royal family.

The Independent awards the Longford Prize , which was named after Lord Longford .

The independent is often parodied - especially by the satirical magazine Private Eye - because of its front pages, which are often dominated by statistics and lists on a cover topic or by a very political editorial, which contrast with the other front pages traditionally dominated by photographs and news.

The (RED) Independent

The Independent also supported the campaign Product Red of U2 -Frontmanns Bono . An edition called The (RED) Independent was created for this project , a special edition in which half of the daily income is invested in aid projects. The first copy produced under Bono as editor-in-chief appeared in May 2006 and sold very well. In September 2006 there was another edition of the RED Independent , this time for which the fashion designer Giorgio Armani was responsible. The cover photo for which the model Kate Moss posed with a black make-up for an article about AIDS in Africa was controversial .

Side dishes

Analogous to other newspapers, the Independent offers additional supplements with longer articles in its Saturday and Sunday editions:

The Independent Saturday edition

  • The Information - A compact section consisting of articles that are thematically different each week. In the run-up to Christmas, for example, there are suggestions for gifts for him and gifts for her .
  • The Independent Traveler - This part provides information about different vacation spots. Here, too, a wide range of topics is covered, goals for both recreational and active vacations are presented.
  • The Independent Magazine - This supplement provides an overview of weekly events as well as the weather, TV schedule, tabloid or lesser known news.

The Independent on Sunday

  • Business & Money - this standalone supplement deals with stock trading on stock exchanges, private investments and economic news.
  • The Compact Traveler - the travel section consists of columns on family vacations, a holiday review page and reports on holiday regions.
  • ABC - the title stands for “Arts, Books & Culture” and includes reviews of all art forms and interviews with people working in this field.
  • The Sunday Review - this popular, slightly thicker supplement contains reports , regular columns and sub-sections on lifestyle, fashion, gardens and motor vehicles.


The Independent

The Independent on Sunday

There have also been several guest editors-in-chief over the years, such as Bono from U2 in 2006.

Editors and columnists

Mainly for The Independent

Mainly for The Independent on Sunday

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Alexander Lebedew TAZ: The league of dazzling gentlemen
  2. “Independent” for the last time as a print edition ,, March 26, 2016, accessed March 26, 2016.
  3. Evgeny Lebedev: Independent closure: Evgeny Lebedev's letter to staff in: The Guardian , February 12, 2016, accessed February 13, 2016
  4. The Independent becomes the first national newspaper to embrace a global, digital-only future on: the, February 12, 2016, accessed February 13, 2016
  5. ^ "Victims of the digital revolution" on:, February 12, 2016, accessed on February 13, 2016
  6. Quoted from International Socialism , Spring 2003, ISBN 1-898876-97-5