Leading article: A proud and grateful quarter-century

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The Independent Online

Back in 1986, there were those who predicted that this newspaper would not last more than a few weeks. Twenty-five years on, The Independent's continued existence is not only a matter of pride; it is also an opportunity to express our gratitude for two-and-a-half decades of loyal and spirited readership.

In a politically polarised industry, The Independent has striven to take each initiative on its merits and assess each issue from first principles, whether that be global warming or the war in Iraq. In keeping with the avoidance of tribal political ties, we see the virtues of the free market while recognising that there are areas of market failure where society needs to correct, inhibit or regulate.

Similarly, we are progressive on social issues such as civil liberties, international co-operation and electoral reform. But we subject every assumption to the same level of scrutiny, and our reporters and commentators are licensed to paint the world as they see it. Our open-minded, free-thinking readership deserves nothing less.

Ours is a complex world, increasingly so as old certainties break down amid financial crisis, social change and shifting political discourses. Today the Independent approach is needed more than ever before. Thank you for your continuing support.