i Editor's Letter: Diversity of opinion


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The Independent Online


We are very aware here at i as we produce the paper every day that it is a relentlessly serious news agenda at the moment – well, to be honest, since i launched just over a year ago. We try to lighten the pages with our features, games and lighter news stories (see Liz Taylor's jewels) and, as you all know, will introduce new cartoon talent in January. We are also lucky enough to have writers like Terence Blacker, Mark Steel, Deborah Ross, Matthew Norman, John Walsh and Simon Kelner to provide much-needed levity.

Some writers polarise opinion even when they are not trying to, by dint of being there – like Steve Richards, Dominic Lawson and Yasmin A-B on politics. James Lawton is one such columnist, Amol Rajan another, Matthew a third. As editor, I don't have to agree with them to publish them.

To me, one of the beauties of i is its diversity of opinion. So, my view of the columns that have so irked you this week: Matthew was harsh, but accurate, about Nick Clegg yesterday; I do not agree with Mr Rajan today on Rebekah Brooks, but I did agree with him about Amanda Platell (Tuesday) – although, like you, I feel he should stop with the "witch" references.

I disagreed with Jim's damning piece on Stoke City (Tuesday). It riled Potters supporters and fans of other small teams. But, Jim calls it as he sees it – that's his job.

There is a minority who "don't get" Deborah – to me, an i treasure that most of you adore. Yes, her voice is middle class – as surely as Mark Steel's is not. What is wrong with that? The "squeezed middle" are people too! i is the sum of its parts. It is a daily privilege to be able to present such diversity in one 20p package.