Obituary for a dear friend
There was an inevitability about the passing of the print version of The Independent. I will miss a quirky friend who made morning coffee the more enjoyable for several decades.
My not particularly guilty secret. I became addicted to the print version of the Independent for a bundle of reasons. Now I have a tough decision. What will take its place in my affections?
But that decision is for the future. Now is time to recall the best of friends, brilliant, contrarian, instinctively liberal.
The Indy was not always reliable. It could never be guaranteed to turn up as regularly as I could have liked. In the three Newsagents closest to me, one always ordered a reasonable supply. One gave up stocking the paper a few years ago, and the third resolutely refused to double its numbers of copies, meaning that at times I was thwarted by someone else with a minority taste in the news they preferred, and the way in which it was presented.
A cause a day
Then there was a period a few years ago when every day was time for a new cause waged against a national or global injustice, until I felt slightly desensitized in my enthusiasm for for the ‘Cause of the day’.
The Indy was born as a reaction against the last big disruption to the print media.
In the UK. Rupert Murdoch was successfully breaking the hold of the old print Unions. A handful of journalists opposing the Murdoch dominance formed The Independent.
The project was always fighting the economics of a declining market recognized so shrewdly by Murdoch whose Empire had the financial muscle to run promotional campaigns that further weakened its competitors. The Independent would have gone under far earlier if it had not been bought in 2010 for nonfinancial reasons for £1 by Evgeny Lebedev who has bankrolled it since to the tune of £60m
Its innovations included messy changes to a tabloid size, and occasional excessive exuberance in design ideas that never quite lined up with user appeal.
Now creative destruction will hit a fair number of the staff, even some among a talented bunch of journalists.
One of the reasons I stuck with the full rather than the little Independent.
The chess column shows tireless interest in the game by Grandmaster Jonathan Speelman. Maybe the e-paper will give him a nice new platform for his daily offering.
Its obituaries by Meic Stephens gave me a link with my school days. Thanks to Meic I was not even the best poet in the village. Don’t know if he will get a chance to write an obituary or a poem in memory of the print Indy.
Not just a Viewspaper…
Viewpaper accusations by Tony Blair were taken on board unashamedly, as the Independent ironically admitted the importance of opinion pieces. Mr Tony was uncomfortable about the paper’s uncompromising stance over Iraq, and several other of his policy decisions.
I’m among the readers who dote on Mark Steel’s brand of satirical commentaries., Robert Fisk’s foreign affairs polemics, and Rupert Cornwall’s effortless demonstrations of his deep insights into politics to match those of his step brother David, aka John le Carre.
Do I seek out a new morning partner to gaze at over my coffee? These are early days after a heart wrenching loss.