Letter from the editor: The typical i reader

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The Independent Online

You really are a curious bunch, you readers. We’ve been observing you quite a bit recently at research groups, and one thing has become abundantly clear: there’s no such thing as a typical i reader.

For every one who likes a certain aspect of our paper, there’s another reader who speaks up passionately with the opposite view. You do, however, concur on a few things, the most consistent of which is that you don’t want too much celebrity gossip.

But how much is too much? There are certain stories which involve celebrities - the Ryan Giggs super-injuction for example - that it would be rather perverse to ignore altogether. And a relentless diet of “hard” news would make the paper pretty tough going. This issue has become more pertinent in the wake of the advertising watchdog telling us off for claiming that we had “no celebrity gossip nonsense” in the paper.

In this letter yesterday, I was mildly critical of their ruling, and this provoked quite a response from our readers. And, typically, it was hard for us to form a settled view from your letters.

First came Mary Duncan, who sprung to our defence. “I thought for a moment it must have been April 1. Carry on regardless,” she said, “you have almost no celebrity rubbish and that’s good enough.” Then came Val Murray, who, as well as upbraiding me for making light of our reprimand, says that we should get rid of Caught and Social, the “infantile rantings” of Deborah Ross and Cooper Brown, and the “inane articles” on lifestyle. She wants a paper with just news in it. See what I mean? We celebrate your individuality, dear i readers, but, boy, do you make it hard for us sometimes!