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
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