News The Independent website grew by 7.94 per cent to 29,894,151 unique monthly users

The Independent’s website independent.co.uk enjoyed the largest growth among newspaper websites during December, according to official figures released today.

Phone-hacking scandal spreads as MP accuses 'Sunday Mirror'

Questions over over the extent of phone hacking in the newspaper industry spread for the first time beyond the News of the World yesterday, as a former MP claimed that stories about his private life that appeared in the Sunday Mirror were based on intercepted voicemails.

Public demand inquiry into Murdoch expansion

There is strong public support for an independent investigation into the bid by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to take full control of BSkyB, shown in an opinion poll to be published today.

Ian Burrell: Deal that would tighten mogul's grip on the media moves closer

News Corp will have known of Vince Cable's animosity to its bid for BSkyB and will be grateful that the decision is out of his hands

Local heroes: Regional papers have had a recent boost in fortunes

In June last year, the respected analyst Claire Enders went before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee and gave it the stark warning that half of the UK's regional newspapers would be closed down within five years. These were not the words of the kind of digital evangelist only too happy to see the end of "dead trees media", but the considered opinion of a leading industry commentator who asserted that bloggers were no substitute for "honed and trained" professional local journalism.

Stephen Glover: I've changed my view on privacy

Media Studies: Those who believe in a free press should be wary of a judiciary increasingly limiting its scope

The England dressing-room invasion: was it a conspiracy?

A British tabloid journalist will appear in a Cape Town court today charged with "attempting to defeat the ends of justice" after South African police accused him of helping an England fan gain access to the team's dressing room in the aftermath of their match with Algeria 12 days ago.

Sunday Mirror journalist in court over fan in England dressing room

A British journalist has appeared in court accused over the incident in which a fan from south-east London walked into the England dressing room, South African police have said.

Express Newspapers plans to start tabloid price war

Richard Desmond, the owner of Express Newspapers, has promised to start a price war in the tabloid press market that could cost his rivals hundreds of millions of pounds.

Local TV and faster broadband plan unveiled

The broadcasting industry will be transformed so that cities across Britain have their own television stations, run by companies that are freed from the rules that currently restrict cross-media ownership, the Culture Secretary promised yesterday.

Investment Column: Thomas Cook is just the ticket for investors

Trinity Mirror; Keller Group

Stephen Glover: The future of the free press will rest on Murdoch making us pay

In a way, one can't blame Gordon Brown for saying that paywalls won't work.

ITN misses out as Johnston and Trinity snap up ITV news rights

Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror have been named among the successful bidders to provide regional news for ITV, but ITN lost out.

The feral beast: Wake worries pass

It would have tickled the late Keith Waterhouse to learn of the delicate wranglings that have preceded his memorial service at St Paul's Covent Garden on Tuesday.

Women still missing out on top jobs at world's largest companies

Women 'remain scarce in senior management positions', report reveals
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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick