Last year I wrote in this column about a new initiative we were launching called indyViews, which gave you the chance to shape the future of The Independent. I’m delighted to report that because it was a huge success we have improved and relaunched it. And once again, we’re very keen indeed for you to get involved.
IndyViews is essentially a reader panel where you can tell us what we’re getting wrong, what we’re getting right – and what you’d like to see more or less of in your newspaper and its website. When we undertook this exercise last year, your response was overwhelming, and had a direct impact on our editorial decision-making.
You told us, for instance, that at the top of your concerns was the future of the NHS, and how on earth we fund it in an age of austerity and demographic change. That’s why we commissioned a special series on the financial crisis in the NHS by our Health Correspondent (and soon-to-be Whitehall Correspondent) Charlie Cooper. This included big interviews with the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and his Labour shadow, and fact-boxes, editorials and interviews aplenty which set the agenda. Recently we’ve been hammering the issue of pay and conditions for junior doctors. Largely because you asked for it.
Similarly, you told us that you broadly support immigration, and feel Britain should do more to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees.
This certainly went through my mind when we decided to put that shocking picture of Aylan Kurdi, the six-year-old boy found dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, on our front page. That front page went viral and did, I believe, help to inject some humanity into the wooden and heartless initial response of the British Government.
You also let us know who your favourite columnists are, but I had better not report that here, in case it goes to their heads and they ask for a pay rise.
The new indyViews has got some very smart new features and a much stronger community feel. There is also an app for those of you who might want to use it on your Android or iPhone. For those who don’t, all you have to do is go to www.indyviews.org, provide us with your name, email, date of birth and create a password. Then you’ve got to fill in a quick survey, which should take no more than five minutes. Once that’s done, you’re free and able to shape the future of The Independent.
Naturally, special prizes are handed out to those who are particularly nice about the Editor*, and who say they look forward to his page 3 Letter on Saturday mornings**. Have a great weekend.
* not true
** also not true
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