Dear Reader, For almost four years, The Independent has not raised its price. During that period, we have faced intense financial pressures. Inflation has been high and the recession severe and prolonged. Newsprint, transportation and other production costs continue to rise, seemingly inexorably. Despite that, we have held off asking for more from you as long as we can. Alas, we cannot hold out any longer – so, unfortunately, from Monday 23 April, The Independent will increase its cover price, to £1.20, bringing it into line with other newspapers.
This will apply only to Monday to Friday. Our excellent and soon to be improved Saturday package will remain unchanged, at £1.60.
Our proprietors continue to invest in us, and there are more exciting changes planned for the months ahead. From Saturday week, we will be offering refreshed supplements and a flagship arts, books, listings and culture magazine: Radar. From its name you can guess that Radar's aim is to give you advance notice of everything that's worth knowing in that space. It combines the strengths of the existing Arts & Books section – most of which will move from next week from its current Friday slot – and our old listings supplements. We will, though, still help you choose which films to go out and see on a Friday night.
The Independent recently added to its award-winning team of writers two of the brightest new, young stars in the journalistic firmament: Owen Jones and Laurie Penny. They are now joined by more talent, wooed from the competition – the brilliant, sassy, funny Grace Dent.
We value you, our readers, greatly. We make special efforts to keep in contact with you (please do tell me what you think about these developments), and we want you to continue to read our superb journalism every day. So our existing, pre-price-rise subscription offer still stands: £5 per week for all editions of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday – worth £9.60 – now with free iPad access, which would normally cost £9.99 a month. (You can use prepaid vouchers at the newsagent. For more information and to sign up, go to independent.co.uk/subscriptions.)
I can only repeat that I am sorry that your Independent will cost more, and we appreciate that you, our readers, face the same sort of financial squeeze as we do, and possibly an even worse one.
In particular, for those many of you who have been with us from the start in 1986, I hope you will keep the faith in such difficult times. More than ever, The Independent's voice needs to be heard.
Chris Blackhurst, Editor