Rising prices 'good for journalism', says Kelner

Newspapers remain "extremely good value", according to Independent editor Simon Kelner, despite rising prices across the quality national newspaper market, writes Lou Thomas.

And he said that increasing cover prices further would "change the economic model of newspapers and that could only be good for journalism".

Since the start of the year The Guardian has raised its price by 10p to 70p, The Independent has gone from 65p to 70p, and in November The Daily Telegraph went up by 5p to 65p, 5p more than The Times.

Kelner told Press Gazette: "I think there is a recognition that we are selling our products too cheaply. I think we probably need a process of re-educating the public."

But he added: "It is a worry that more people will stop reading newspapers and go to free sources of news. Obviously it’s all got to be balanced. I think the idea that newspapers are extremely good value at the moment is something that needs to be promulgated. More people need to talk about it."

The Observer went up from £1.50 to £1.60 in October. Editor Roger Alton said: "If you took a newspaper Monday to Sunday it would cost you about £300 a year, which is effectively a utility. We don’t think utilities are cheap and I think we should be saying a paper should be like a utility as something you have to have. If you’re going to charge over utility prices, you start getting into a difficult area."

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