THE INDEPENDENT: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Chris Shaw says the Indie is a better read thanks to the input of Rosie Boycott

Asked to review the ’new’ Independent my heart sank ... again. It seemed like only weeks ago that I last did the very same thing. ’Why don’t you see if it’s any better under the editorial direction of Rosie Boycott,’ Campaign said.

Asked to review the ’new’ Independent my heart sank ... again. It

seemed like only weeks ago that I last did the very same thing. ’Why

don’t you see if it’s any better under the editorial direction of Rosie

Boycott,’ Campaign said.



Forming an opinion of a paper from one issue can often be

unrepresentative.



I could have done a ’round-robin’ of my peers, brainstormed the concept

or even ’read it collectively’ with the rest of our management team. I

opted to take it with me to the loo and do what I rarely do with the

Indie - read it.



On the face of it, any change could be described as cosmetic. The clean,

uncluttered and open type style is still there but it now seems to make

more sense as a newspaper. The news is where it should be, on the front

page, dominating and defining the paper. It seems to have a clearer

political standpoint and there is a better use of colour. The quality

photo-journalism is still there (including an ambiguous shot of some

Indian women cheering the helicopter of Sonia Gandhi - they could have

been throwing rocks at it, we’ll never know). Importantly - I assume

this is where Boycott has had her greatest influence - the paper is

eminently more readable. I particularly liked the dialogue boxes

inserted into text to explain, observe or provide tangents.



The Independent is better than it was and deserves to do well. And I

could only find one gremlin: a picture of a Blackjack table cunningly

concealed lines of text in an article about the shenanigans of Prince

Jefri of Brunei. Worryingly, it could even have been deliberate wit on

Boycott’s part.



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