i Editor's Letter: Austerity coverage vs Royal baby coverage


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The Independent Online


Want austerity statement coverage? We have six pages of news and further analysis from Hamish McRae, Danny Blanchflower, Ben Chu, Andrew Grice, Steve Richards and others. This pushes the boundaries of concise, although you can feel the quality. That said, however ostensibly dry, it really does matter. Personally, there's nothing I can add to what Matthew Norman expressed with brilliant clarity yesterday.

I know you agree. For much of last year our circulation record was held by the post-Budget edition of i. It was usurped by the "Worst crisis in 50 years at the BBC" story at the height of the Jimmy Savile debacle. You will have your own views on those stories' relative merits.

Which brings me inevitably to Kate's pregnancy. It's not a sales winner for i – although it took you in droves to independent.co.uk! It's fascinating, and a little alarming, as editor of the paper that covered this good news story the least, to read your feedback.

As with the Leveson report, we must balance the public interest with what's of interest to the public. More so than Leveson, like it or not, the announcement of a pregnancy that may result in the future monarch, is of considerable interest to many.

We gave Kate's news roughly a front page and a half. We also give space regularly to the staunchly republican views of Amol Rajan. Even Amol concedes he has more chance of being a "twirlyman" for England than he does of seeing the monarchy overthrown. Me? I believe the royals provide some gaiety and revenue to the nation. Surely, we can allow them the occasional wee story?