Tomorrow The Independent is to turn RED, and half of all the revenues from that day's newspaper will be donated to fighting Aids in Africa. The paper will be edited by the U2 frontman and activist Bono, who, along with the leading American philanthropist Bobby Shriver set up the Product RED partnership.
The RED initiative is designed to throw the weight of the corporate world behind the battle against a disease that will kill two million Africans this year alone. Big high-street names, including American Express, Gap, Converse and Giorgio Armani, have already signed up to the scheme, in which companies create specifically designed products and donate a percentage of the profits to programmes for women and children with Aids in Africa. The Independent is the first media organisation to sign up to the scheme.
Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief of The Independent, said : "We are delighted to be involved with RED, and I am thrilled to be handing over the editor's desk for a day to Bono. His perspective on world affairs is unique, his access to world leaders is second to none, and he shares the sensibilities of our newspaper. I am certain that the paper he will produce for tomorrow will be, in the traditions of The Independent, challenging, entertaining and illuminating."
Bono has already been at work, commissioning a number of features. The structure of the paper will be familiar to regular readers - there will be a 16-page motoring section as normal, for instance - but there will also be a host of special events, from an interview between Stella McCartney and Giorgio Armani, to the first, an exclusive view of new photographs by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood, to a conversation between Bono and the comedian Eddie Izzard. Oh, and Condoleezza Rice has chosen that day's Ten Best.
"We know from the terrific response to our annual charity appeals that our readers have a great interest in, and concern for, Africa," said Mr Kelner.
Tomorrow's paper has a twin mission: to shine a light on the issues affecting Africa, and to raise money to help alleviate the continent's Aids crisis.
"We are trying to make it really easy for people to help," added Bono, activist, singer and, for a day, editor.
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