Saturday, March 27, 2010

but will it be Independent?

The news that the Independent has (sort of) been sold throws some light onto the challenges that the UK press that was once Fleet Street is currently facing.
The Lebedev family has to my mind so far made something of a success of turning the London Evening Standard into a 'quality' free paper I reckon it’s better than it was when we were charged for it, particularly after it held the London Evening paper monopoly.Alexander Lebedev is certainly a man who has beenon a journey from his days as a Moscow high flier in the KGB

Now some commentators are saying that The Independent may move to a free/give away model how successful that could be for a quality national newspaper remains to be seen but it does make the changes that Murdoch is making to the Times and Sunday Times online seem even braver (or is that foolish), how much is online revenue worth and does the Times have much that is unique that will make its online readers part with £1 (or £2 for the week) – as many have said before free can be a very attractive price.
Is a quality paper sustainable by advertising alone and how would the Telegraph et al respond?
As a concept the funding of organs of Western democracy by former KGB agents does feel a little odd doesn't it?
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