We are delighted to announce that The Independent on Sunday has been shortlisted as Sunday Newspaper of the Year in the London Press Club awards. We believe it is a great achievement to make the shortlist of three: fingers crossed for the awards ceremony on 8 May.
Before that are the 2012 Newspaper Awards. Again, The Independent on Sunday is shortlisted, this time as Weekend Newspaper of the Year. Our magazine, The New Review, redesigned last year, is also shortlisted, for National Colour Supplement of the Year. The white smoke for these goes up on 25 April.
Two months ago, The Independent on Sunday won three awards from the Society of Newspaper Design, two awards of excellence for our main section and one highly prized silver award for The New Review. One judge described it as "the best newsprint magazine I have ever seen". The SND awards, judged over three days in New York, are seen as the gold standard for the industry. Out of more than 10,000 entries from around the world, only one other British national paper won anything.
Add to that our performance on the news-stands. For seven months out of the past nine, our newstrade sales – the ones that really matter – have risen compared with the same month in the previous year. The rise has ranged from a modest 2 per cent to 14 per cent – at a time when the Sunday quality newspaper market is showing near double-digit decline, year on year.
It is especially gratifying when our rivals notice. Peter Preston, the much-respected former editor of The Guardian and now Observer columnist on the media, generously praised our sales performance recently, pointing out that any newspaper publisher would be proud to have these figures. He described us in a previous column as "a weekly tour de force".
But the truth is that the newspaper industry is in a very difficult place now, and The Independent on Sunday can hardly buck these economic pressures. We feel it is only fair to give you a week's notice of a price increase – from next Sunday, we will cost £2.
Remarkably, this is our first price rise in five years, and, although we deeply regret the move, we do believe The Independent on Sunday will still offer great value for money. After all, both The Sunday Times and The Observer cost £2.20.
And we have an extremely attractive subscription package available, which saves you nearly 50 per cent. For only £5 a week, you will receive each day The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, worth £9.60, PLUS free iPad access worth £9.99 a month. For more information and to sign up, please go to independent.co.uk/subscriptions.
There are two more developments next Sunday. We will be publishing The Happy List, our annual celebration of 100 fascinating people who give something back to British society rather than take from it. Now in its fifth year, it was devised as an antidote to that annual celebration of greed, The Rich List, published by The Sunday Times, and, as such, we have published it on the same day. Now, though, we believe The Happy List has grown up, and deserves to stand on its own. We hope you will be inspired by those whom we feature, and will appreciate The Happy List's positive message.
And we will unveil a refreshed look next week. It will be all the things you expect from a triple SND winner – energetic, elegant, and imaginative – and we will introduce some new features, along with a few surprises. Nothing to scare the horses, though! We know you will let us know what you think – you always do.
We are proud of our achievements over the past year or so, but we are prouder still to have such a fantastic group of loyal readers. We thank you all for your support, and hope you will continue to enjoy The Independent on Sunday, and its honest, spin-free, entertaining journalism, for many years to come. Thank you for reading.
John Mullin is the editor of 'The Independent on Sunday'