The Independent marks 25th birthday with special edition on Friday

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The Independent is promising a special edition on Friday to celebrate its 25th birthday.
There will be a personal account of the paper’s origins by founding editor Andreas Whittam Smith as well as contributions from some of the paper’s ’eminent readers”.

It is a birthday that two years ago no-one would have bet on The Independent reaching. Back then, debt-laden owner Independent News & Media looked certain to close the loss-making title.
Instead, Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev came forward and took the paper over in March 2010. He was paid £9.25m by IN&M for taking on the paper’s liabilities.

Proprietor Evgeny Lebedev said in a statement: ‘I am extremely proud to be publisher of this great newspaper 25 years after its birth. Our journalists share the commitment to excellence and a spirit of independence that were our founding principles. Chris Blackhurst is producing an excellent and confident paper, and our plans for digital expansion will ensure The Independent is a global brand held in the highest esteem”.

Blackhurst said: ‘From the moment it was launched a quarter century ago, The Independent has changed the face of the British newspaper industry.
‘That contribution has endured throughout its 25 year history, and it’s an enormous privilege to be taking it on the next steps of what is still a remarkable journey.”

Here’s a handy timeline put together by the Indy’s PR people:

  • Oct 1986: The Independent was launched with Andreas Whittam-Smith as editor, at City Road in North East London
  • April 1987: The Independent played a defining role in the Spycatcher affair
  • Jan 1990: The Independent on Sunday was launched with Stephen Glover as editor
  • June 1992: The Independent was the first national newspaper to make climate change a front-page issue
  • Aug 1994: Ian Hargreaves replaced Andreas Whittam-Smith as editor of The Independent
  • Dec 1994: Both papers moved to Canary Wharf at One Canada Place
  • May 1995: Independent News & Media and Mirror Group Newspapers became controlling shareholders of the Independent and The Independent on Sunday
  • Jan 1996: Charles Wilson was appointed as acting editor of The Independent
  • May 1996: Andrew Marr was appointed editor of The Independent
  • July 1996: Robert Fisk published the first of two interviews with Osama Bin Laden
  • Jan 1998: Rosie Boycott was appointed as editor of The Independent
  • May 1998: Simon Kelner was appointed editor of The Independent
  • Aug 1999: independent.co.uk website was launched
  • Aug 2000: The Independent and The Independent on Sunday moved to the Marsh Wall site in Docklands, East London
  • 2002 – 2003: The Independent was the only quality national newspaper to oppose the Iraq war
  • Sept 2003: The Independent launched its compact edition alongside the broadsheet
  • May 2004: The Independent switched all editions to the compact format
  • May 2006: Bono edited The Independent for a special (RED) issue
  • 25 Mar 2010: Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev confirmed they were to buy The Independent and The Independent on Sunday
  • May 2010: The Independent launched a national campaign around the general election to encourage the public to place votes without influence from media owners
  • Oct 2010: The Independent launched i, the compact quality daily that was the first national newspaper to be launched in 25 years
  • Dec 2010: Elton John edited The Independent & i for World AIDS Day
  • Feb 2011: The Independent & i overtook The Guardian’s print circulation
  • July 2011: Chris Blackhurst was appointed as the new editor of The Independent

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