Letter from the editor: Not cheap, just incredible value


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The Independent Online

Very nice people, i readers. Among the missives that pinged into yesterday’s inbox was an email from Matthew Gibbs, who wanted to know where to buy the pink dress we featured on the cover - “it would be a present for my girlfriend who I know will love it”. What a gentleman!

And then there was Jim Batty. “I have shot myself in the foot,” he writes. “I blabbed about how much I was enjoying i, and the result? None left. Nearest other paper shop? Eight miles. Please send a long e-mail in reply while I’m waiting for a delivery.”

But my favourite intro came from Paul Cade: “Dear Master of the greatest paper on the stand.” I just knew there had to be a sting. “I have a couple of possible improvements to the greatness you produce five days a week for us.” One was a specialised query regarding crossword answers and the other was a plea for racecards (we’re on the case, Paul).

The letter that best reveals i readers in their true light came from Chris Gabriel, who says we’ve caused him a moral dilemma. He feels embarrassed that he has to pay only 20p for a newspaper of such high quality. His suggestion? “Perhaps you could do a ‘minimum price 20p’ and let us then throw in a few extra coins which could be given to a charity of your choice.” I don’t quite know what the Big Society is, Chris, but if it’s going to work, it will be down to people like you.

I heard the delightful Caroline from our advertising department chide someone yesterday. “i’s not cheap,” she said. “Just incredible value.” And, to prove the point, we’ve had Robert Fisk reporting from Cairo as the momentous events in Egypt unfold. Fisk is the most celebrated of foreign correspondents. He’s been based in the Middle East for 30 years and has won more awards than any other journalist. He’s right there - for you - in the thick of it, in Tahrir Square. That alone has to be worth 20p.