Twenty-six years ago, The Independent was founded as a journalistic expression of its time. It was the zeitgeist made print: world-class reporting and fearless comment, together with journalistic integrity, compassion, and superb design. Roll forward and the paper today is as true to those values as it ever was; but just as the world has changed beyond recognition, so journalism now is irretrievably different from journalism then.
The advent of 24-hour news and the internet has made journalism more accessible and participatory, more divisive and diverse. Far from passively listening to a lecture or reading an article, audiences want to be involved, to engage with the speaker and author, to air their own views straight away. Journalism is more immediate, open, and interactive. And it is in direct response to this evolution that we are proudly launching independentvoices.com. Its mission is captured in three words: Comment, Campaigns, Community.
The Independent is already renowned for its superb range of commentators; these star writers now have a platform which is more engaging and energetic, and they will be joined by a multitude of new voices. We will be launching brilliant viral campaigns that harness the power of social media to generate news and social change. Finally, our online engagement tools mean a community of users can react and respond to our journalism in exciting and novel ways.
To mark the launch as well, from today The Independent's Opinion pages are being renamed Independent Voices.
In launching independentvoices.com we're building on exceptional growth for our content, with the combined circulation of our newspapers rising faster year-on-year than all our competitors.
We'll have a unique identity that distinguishes us from other publishers through the strength and intelligence of our comment, the moral force of our campaigns, and the loyalty of our community. The tone will be direct and outspoken, and though we'll offend regularly, we won't offend without good reason.
Above all, we'll champion enlightened values; and where others wish to stand athwart History, yelling "Stop!", we'll stand afore it, yelling "Go!".
Do log on, tell us what you think, and make your voice heard.
Amol Rajan, Editor, Independent Voices
Evgeny Lebedev, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Voices