Thursday, 4 November 2010
An eye on the 'i'
And at first glance it doesn't seem that bad. The idea of the i is to present a slimmed down version of its 'broadsheet' cousin aimed squarely at the commuter and youngish adult demographic; it contains many of the stories and comment that you might expect to find in a more up-market newspaper but at just over 50 pages is a lot easier to read on the train. Perhaps its greatest attraction, however, is the cover price; at only 20 pence it's the only paper of its kind to compete with the cheap-to-buy tabloids.
But i is clearly still a work in progress. Some of its commentary pieces will not appeal to all whilst its target readership is obvious from the house style, and I doubt that this title will seriously dent the circulation figures of the Independent's rivals. But the fact that it does have a narrowly-defined demographic in mind might also be its greatest strength, with cash-strapped students and travellers ever more mindful of value for money.
A few years ago I attended a media conference which confidently predicted that the printed press as we know it will cease to exist within a decade. It'll be interesting to see how this latest attempt fares; if anything it's definitely worth keeping an eye on...