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
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
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: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Report Writer / Reporting Analyst

£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager / Account Executive

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own