This blog post was going to read something like ...
“This will allow us to strengthen our bold and graphic approach to design, producing a paper that is visually more appealing and even easier to navigate.”
Easier to navigate than flicking through the 60 or so pages!
Normally NI gets left behind with these kind of improvements. The Guardian took a looooong time to finally be able to deliver all the pages (G2 used to be missing a TV reviews) and all the colours to their NI readers. So there will be great rejoicing from the local band of Independent readers.
However, when I bought a copy at lunchtime (the newsagent in Church Lane, off High Street) to check out the new, easier to navigate than a TomTom features, I found a “New full colour edition” splash on the front page, a comment from the editor on page 2 (including mention of the new Belfast presses) and ... lots of black and white pages.
And lots of photographs and adverts spread across two pages, with one half colour and one half grey. Perhaps the most striking was the picture of Gordon Brown facing David Miliband across the centre crease between pages 10 and 11.
Slight technical problem? Much to the amazement of the Indy’s distribution office who confirmed that their (London) edition has a more conventional photo with both halves in colour. Looks like the local first edition of the paper (check for one or no dots below the £1 on the cover) wasn’t printed in full colour.
But back to the original blog post ...
“This is the harshest month in the harshest year of the harshest period I have ever known for newspapers in the harshest economic climate for 80 years. That's a lot of harshest.”
Along with other national paper, the Independent struggles with its readership level. The circulation figures for August show that:
The Independent sold an average of 230,033 copies a day in August, according to the latest ABC figures, down 4% year on year.
But around 55,000 of those were overseas sales, and 41,000 were bulk [hotels, trains, airport lounges etc], with only 131,000 sold at full price.
That’s a drop of 24% of UK (paid) circulation in two years.
Update - same mixed colour/monochrome in the issues being sold in Sainsburys when I filled up with petrol tonight.
Update - Wednesday 24th - Printed in full colour throughout in this morning's edition - problem fixed!