Letter from the editor: Unrivalled insights

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The Independent Online

The capture and subsequent killing of Osama bin Laden was one of those very rare events: a news story that would have led the bulletins in every country in the world.

It was announced in the middle of the night here — too late for yesterday morning’s newspapers — and revealed the advantage the electronic media have over we purveyors of the printed word. Where we come into our own, however, is on days like this, when most people have tuned in to the wall-to-wall coverage on TV, radio and the internet, and are now eager for some analysis, interpretation and comment to enable them to make sense of these events.

And what we can offer are the unrivalled insights of journalists such as Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn, who bring their vast experience of reporting from the Middle East to our news coverage on pages 4 to 8.

In addition, Fisk’s compelling tale of his meeting with bin Laden is an epic piece of writing that explains vividly what drove the Al Qa’ida leader to declare war on the West.

So, a weekend that began with wedding bells ended with shots that rang around the world. Now we’re all back at work, and all that fun we had last month — sunshine, bank holidays, royal weddings — would seem to be over. A rainy May is on its way, there’s no more Mondays off until the end of the month, and it’s a vain hope, sadly, that Pippa and Harry might get together.

Yet we do have another big event this week, something in response to the democratic will of the people that we urge you to support. But that’s enough about the new Saturday i — there’s the AV vote on Thursday! I’ll return to that particular subject tomorrow. Bet you can’t wait!