It was 26 years ago. It was my first job on a newspaper. The staff list was stellar, the approach to news and analysis was fresh and exciting. But it was destined not to last.
No, not The Independent on Sunday. In 1990, I was working on a launch called The Sunday Correspondent, created in part because The Independent didn't have a seven-day operation. I'll never forget the night the paper closed: we were out on the street less than an hour after the announcement. The Independent had decided to launch a Sunday paper after all, and the market wasn't big enough for two modish, lefty titles.
And now we come to the end of The Independent on Sunday. Gallows humour suggests that revenge has been served, stone cold. But the papers that bookend my print career each deserve their place in history. (Career thus far, it should be said; I'm not ready for the hacks' retirement home just yet.)
The best IoS and The Sunday Review front covers
The best IoS and The Sunday Review front covers
1/21 28 January 1990
The first issue. Dawn Griffiths is reunited with her baby, who was kidnapped when two days old
2/21 22 January 1995
“Ruthless” Cherie Blair seeks to have a bailed penniless poll-tax defaulter returned to jail
3/21 18 February 1996
More than half the public believes the Royal Family won’t survive as an institution for another 50 years
4/21 7 September 1997
Suzanne Moore reports from Westminster Abbey on the funeral of the “People’s Princess”
5/21 26 January 2003
The troops are mobilising, but we call on Tony Blair to consider the full consequences of war in Iraq
6/21 6 April 2003
Robert Fisk reports from Baghdad as US forces ride in to oust Saddam Hussein’s regime
7/21 18 March 2007
New evidence on cannabis elicits a mea culpa for our 1997 campaign to have the drug decriminalised
8/21 13 March 2011
Japan battles its tsunami devastation despite a power-plant explosion that threatened nuclear meltdown
9/21 5 August 2012
Jessica Ennis is crowned Queen of the Olympic Games after storming to victory on “Super Saturday”
10/21 28 July 2013
How a £250,000 burger could revolutionise food production. Plus, Robert Fisk on the slaughter in Egypt
11/21 5 October 2014
Here is the news, not the propaganda: celebrating the life of Alan Henning, without pictures of his murder by Isis
12/21 15 November 2015
We stand alongside defiant Paris, after its night of Islamist terrorist massacres
13/21 The Sunday Review
John Aspinall on his friend Lord Lucan, 28 January 1990 (the first ever issue)
14/21 The Sunday Review
Gitta Sereny investigates the lives of the boys who killed James Bulger, 6 February 1994
15/21 The Sunday Review
15 years of protest at Greenham Common, 28 July 1996
16/21 The Sunday Review
Tracey Emin's tortured fiction, 19 September 1999
17/21 The Sunday Review
Deborah Orr meets Lord Archer, 26 November 2000
18/21 The Sunday Review
The secret world of the adult nursery, 27 May 2001
19/21 The New Review
John Cooper Clarke, the 'punk Poet Laureate', 8 November 2009
20/21 The New Review
David Lynch on why he switched from film to pop, 23 June 2013
21/21 The New Review
Why no design was too extreme for Alexander McQueen, 1 March 2015
The Corrie's alumni include internationally renowned stars, but the paper itself shone briefly. Looking back over the Sindy's 26 years, the courage of its campaigns, the verve and intelligence of its reporters, the beauty of its many designs (particularly The New Review) – Britain has been lucky to have it. And from the letters and emails I've received, many of you will feel its loss keenly.
It has been an enormous privilege to be the Sindy's editor these past three years, from the moment the proprietor called to tell me with the words, "Congratulations… I'm going to tweet the news in five minutes" to the last-night party we'll be recovering from as you read this.
My debts are to Evgeny Lebedev, for taking a chance on me, and keeping the paper going in an increasingly brutal economy for newsprint; to the readers, who engaged with such enthusiasm (apart from the one who told me I'd turned the paper into a "special interest title for ladies"); to the previous editors, on whose shoulders I stood: Stephen Glover, Ian Jack, Peter Wilby, Rosie Boycott, Kim Fletcher, Janet Street-Porter, Tristan Davies and John Mullin. Every single one of them, in their own way, kept The Independent on Sunday individual – I pored over bound volumes of years past and never failed to be inspired.
But of course, my most heartfelt tribute must be to the team, who have been truly astonishing in their talent and commitment. Through every crisis, cut and editor's caprice (mine are bad puns and a ban on John Terry), they have created an always compelling read.
Even though we are Fleet Street's smallest team, there are too many to mention, so I'll use the bookends here, too. Production supremo Keith Howitt, whom I met at the Correspondent, joined in 1991 and kept us on time and accurate with singular dedication and almost unwavering good humour all this time; and political editor Tom McTague, who joined just four months ago, but who has made a profound mark in his short tenure.
It's over too soon, of course it is. You'll find much of the terrific journalism from your favourite Sindy writers here on the website and on the daily app – but this is goodbye from your printed companion.