The Independent


One of the things I missed most whilst living in Australia was being able to read British newspapers on a daily basis.

Sure they have some good newspapers in Australia, but for me, nothing quite matches the extraordinary diversity, vibrancy and sheer inventiveness of the British press.

I was brought up in a newspaper reading household and that habit has thankfully remained ingrained deep within me right throughout adulthood.

Indeed, every time I came back to the UK on holiday from Australia, one of the first things I would look forward to would be a trip to the local newsagents to pick up the papers and bury myself in their pages.

I found myself pouring over the content, learning new things and marveling at the sheer quality of the writing, re-reading passages of prose to appreciate their elegance and even reciting paragraphs to others so they too could share in the wonderful use of language.

One of the benefits of living back in the UK is that I have been able to resume my daily newspaper relationship (and have even, coincidentally begun working in the industry too).

It is fair to say that I love newspapers.

Which is why I was particularly sad to see The Independent publish its last ever print edition at the weekend.

I can still remember buying the first every issue and becoming a regular reader for a while.

At the time, it seemed an exotic and exciting addition to the British newspaper landscape with its blend of unexpected topics, quality writing and breathtaking photography.

It’s launch advertising slogan (“It is. Are you?”) also successfully captured a bold and fearless attitude towards the world that it sought to capture within its inky pages.

But times change.

I know they have been losing readers and money for quite a while now and I know that they are continuing to develop the brand online, but it does feel like the end of an era.

With so much of our lives now being spent online, it is perhaps inevitable that much of people’s news consumption takes place there too, but for me there is something irreplaceable about the tangible and tactile qualities of a printed newspaper.

My hope is that as the world becomes ever more digital, we see a renewed appreciation in physical things – the current resilience of books and vinyl are a promising sign.

If that does happen, maybe a new generation of people will come to appreciate the benefits of print and start to develop a new newspaper reading habit of their own.

Sadly, it is too late for The Indy, but I hope that Britain’s other main newspapers will survive and continue to grace the shelves of my local newsagent for many years to come, informing and entertaining the British public.


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