IoS 1000th Issue: 1990-1991, Stephen Glover

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

In this special celebratory issue, The Independent on Sunday's eight editors choose the stories that fired them up during their time in charge.

The world into which The Independent on Sunday was launched on 28 January 1990 was in some respects very different to our own, and in other ways strikingly similar. Back then, there was still enormous confidence in the future of newspapers, and the IoS was launched on a wave of optimism, as The Independent had been more than three years earlier, when I had played a role as one of its founders. But it also came into the world as the worst advertising recession in living memory was getting under way, playing havoc with our financial projections.

The new paper was intended to be as revolutionary as its daily sibling. It had only three sections in a market characterised by gigantism: an upmarket, broadsheet news section; a tabloid business section with a magazine-like front page; and a review supplement. This third section, known as The Sunday Review, has largely survived. Printed on high-quality newsprint, it enjoyed much later deadlines than rivals' colour supplements. In many ways, it was the heart of the paper.

Among the 80 or so journalists who worked exclusively for the Sindy, we had assembled an impressive array of established journalists (such as Sebastian Faulks, Stephen Fay, Chris Huhne, Francis Wheen, Ian Jack, Neal Ascherson, Peter Wilby, Lynn Barber, Blake Morrison) and young talent (including Allison Pearson, Robert Peston, Andrew Gimson and Zoë Heller).

But however hard one tries, it is not possible to launch a newspaper fully formed. As the daily had done, the Sindy took several months to find its true character. After selling 760,000 copies of its first issue, the paper lost circulation week by week, as was expected, before "bottoming out" at 320,000 in the summer. Thereafter, sales rose steadily until, buoyed by interest in the impending Gulf War, they reached 425,000 in January 1991.

No doubt we made mistakes. Notwithstanding the excellence of the Review, the paper should have had a colour supplement, but we could not afford one. Timing was not brilliant. Our thinking had been that the Sunday Correspondent (which had launched a few months before the Sindy, but was forced to close in November 1990) was stealing our clothes, and if we did not launch a Sunday newspaper then, we might never be able to do so.

As the recession deepened, so losses climbed on the Sindy, despite its impressive circulation gains. Cutbacks were inevitable, and colleagues on the daily argued these could be achieved only if the main departments of the papers were brought together under the same editorial control. I believed there were more creative ways of making savings. Integration was adopted, though soon reversed.

I think that most of us who worked on this newspaper in its early days were proud of what we achieved. The Independent on Sunday took itself seriously – perhaps a little too much so. It was intended to be a writers' paper that respected readers. With all the fervour of evangelists who want to reshape the world, we felt we had restored some integrity to Sunday journalism.

Click on the image above to see Stephen Glover's selection.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral