At 8.30pm in the Tesco store in the south-west of Edinburgh, there was still about a dozen copies left of the first 'quality daily newspaper to be launched in Britain for 25 years' – the Independent's 'baby brother', i.
An attempt to combine 'broadsheet values and journalism' with a cheap price – just 20p – the i is described by Independent editor-in-chief, Simon Kelner, as “not only a new paper, but a new kind of paper”, designed for people “with busy, modern lives”.
Launched today by new Independent owner, Alexander Lebedev, the paper is for rapid consumption, “the perfect way for an intelligent person to start the day”.
The Tesco store gave the paper its own stand and the front page comprised – in typical Independent style – a large, dramatic photo, of rows of houses, above the heading: 'The housing crisis of Coalition Britain', teeing up a page five report about mortgage lending said to have hit a 18-month low.
There is, understandably, a fair amount of copy culled from the more expensive, 'big' paper, including columnist, Johann Hari, asking why he feels “let down” by US president, Barack Obama, after greeting his election with huge joy.
It's colourful, busy and, in parts, obviously lifted from the main paper. Across the top of the front page, the declaration: “It's a red-letter day! i is all you need”.
Lots of bite-size tales from around the world will score heavily among the target audience, but Scotland appears only to get a mention in the….UK-wide weather forecast.
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