Independent to go full-colour from next week

It was the first broadsheet to go tabloid (or compact, as newspapers executives prefer to say) back in 2004 but is now the last of the quality papers to move to full-colour printing.

The Independent will be resplendent in colour from next Tuesday, joining The Times and Telegraph as the latest to join the full-colour club this year.

And from today, selling for £1, the Indy is the most expensive UK daily newspaper, except the Financial Times. Editor Roger Alton attempts to explain the price rise fro 80p to readers in a letter in today’s paper:

These are extremely challenging times for all businesses, and newspapers are not immune from the difficult economic climate, no matter how hard we try to absorb all the costs without you, our readers, noticing.

The former Independent editor echoed the point often made by his long-standing predecessor Simon Kelner, now managing editor, that the Indy is “still less then half the cost of a cappuccino in a high-street coffee chain”.

Alton also promises a “sassy” makeover for the paper’s Extra features sections, an expanded arts and books supplement on Fridays and a bigger sports section on Mondays.

Interestingly, looking over the story from Press Gazette’s Breakfast With the Editor interview with Kelner in 2006, he makes some interesting points about the paper’s relationship with its website:

If you have an exclusive story at five o’clock to go in the following day’s newspaper, the idea that you would put it on the website for nothing strikes as complete madness…Until there is a model for making money out of a newspaper website, we’re not going to plough millions into it.

This was over two years ago and a great deal has changed in web economics. But would Kelner subscribe to this view now?

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