Newspapers are dead and buried. They are (pardon the pun) old news, ancient relics of a world without instant news, where people were not wired up to an intravenous drip of information (however did they cope without 140 character tidbits of enlightenment?).
These days we have the internet, and therefore we can access news wherever we are, at a time that is convenient for us. I watch the news online, I often find out about breaking news on Twitter, I devour the Guardian’s iPhone app while i’m on the bus into uni – the way in which I consume news is vastly different to the newspaper generation. I am a part of the online generation, and if I, shockingly, care about news (which not even some students on my journalism degree seem to) then I have better ways to get my fix than to sit down with a newspaper that is time consuming and too big for me to even read comfortably (I’m looking at you, Daily Telegraph)
So why, then, do I find myself utterly besotted with a newspaper? Why is it that earlier when I remembered that I could pick up a newspaper on my way home from a lecture, I did a little jump for joy (in my head, obviously) because I knew that I could pick up my new obsession?
Say hello to i, the week-old baby of the Independent, which launched as a companion to the Independent – cut down, concise, for people who don’t have the time to sit and read pages upon pages of essays but nevertheless want to know what is going on in the world, and who don’t wish to read a red top. Or worse, The Daily Mail. i targets the ‘lapsed readers of quality newspapers’, and is like a bigger, better version of The Guardian’s much loved G2. And best of all, it’s only 20p! Twenty pence!
I first bought i on a whim as I prepared to travel from Swansea to London last week. People who
travel great distances by train stock up on unnecessary food and reading material, and so with my i and my food and big bar of Galaxy I boarded the train. The plan was then usual – to catch up on sleep, look out of the window and shout at Wales in general for making it difficult for me to use my phone due to lack of signal.
Instead, I became completely engrossed in i‘s refreshing blend of news, comment, and humour, and wondered whether this would be another thing that only I and about three other people would get to appreciate for a short while before it shuts down (hello, Popworld magazine).
But apparently not, as indications are that i has done far better than anyone could have expected. Targeted at the apathetic twentysomethings that care little for news that takes more than a few seconds to read (its that 21st century attention span, see), critics all expected i to fail miserably. I mean, who launches a newspaper in 2010? Especially one with a silly name that makes it impossible to Google?
But people are loving it. People are taking to
the streets Twitter to voice their overwhelmingly positive opinions on the newspaper, with many people (including myself) feeling extremely sad at weekends when realising that i is only a weekday affair. People love how accessible and easy to read it is, they love how cheap it is but at the same time how it does not compromise quality. Even my mum, the fiercest Daily Mail defender, was caught in the act reading the newspaper over my shoulder and declaring how good it was that it is “different”. It’s like the Metro, or thelondonpaper, but not shit and thrown at you as you make your way around London.
Sure, there are some issues that I have with it – the name, for one, annoys me as it feels like a cop out (but then again no one has had to name a major newspaper for a good while so I suppose I’ll let them off), and it’s insistance on featuring a lot of tweets also grates (mainly because if I wanted to read tweets, I’d just log onto Twitter and read them myself). But overall, it’s great and every day I get excited about reading it.
The Independent took a massive risk with i, but for me, it has made news, features, and columns exciting again, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it in the future.