Britain has new, cheap newspaper

2010-10-26 16:29

London – A new newspaper claiming to "combine intelligence with brevity" hit the news stands in Britain on Tuesday, the brainchild of Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev who owns the liberal Independent daily and its Sunday sister paper.

The tabloid-format new paper, a mini-Independent called "i", costs a mere 20 pence (30 US cents) and is aimed at offering concise and well-analysed information on major topics to the "time-poor" newspaper reader.

With 56 pages, it pledges to "combine intelligence with brevity and depth with speed of reading".

"Time-poor newspaper readers, and especially commuters, have been telling us for years that they are inundated with information and just don't have the time to read a quality newspaper on a regular basis," said Andrew Mullins, managing director of the Independent.

The new paper uses the same editorial staff as the Independent, which was bought by Lebedev earlier this year for one pound – the cost of one daily edition of the Independent.

In 2009, the Russian billionaire bought the Evening Standard, London's only evening newspaper, which he has made available free of charge.

According to Mullins, the long-term goal of the launch of a concise, distilled and cheap daily newspaper is to "bring people back to the quality newspaper market".

"i" will have to compete with Metro, the free morning newspaper published by rivals Associated Newspapers.

Sales of the Independent have fallen to around 183 000 a day from about 250 000 three years ago. The title was founded in 1986.