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The i paper thanks readers during the pandemic as it hits 3,000 editions

Posted on: July 6, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The editor of the i newspaper has thanked readers for their encouragement and backing to help steer the paper through the coronavirus crisis.

Celebrating its 3,000th edition today (July 6) the newspaper, which prides itself as having Britain’s fastest growing readership, praised readers’ support saying ‘we don’t take anything for granted’.

The i’s journalism is read by 8.7million people a month in the UK and offers a weekend edition alongside its weekday print, a website, newsletters and two apps – run by the 90 editorial staff.

The editor Oliver Duff wrote in his 1,714th letter to readers, “Your encouragement and backing have helped to steer i through the coronavirus pandemic so far. In the months to come, our editorial and commercial teams have a lot of hard work ahead to ensure that i is on the soundest possible footing.

“Conversation with readers is one of journalism’s great privileges.”

The front page of the 3,000th edition celebrates the £1.5bn Government funding package to save live music and performing arts venues from permanent closure as a result of the pandemic. The paper had recently revealed that the Royal Albert Hall was among those facing bankruptcy within months if it did not receive financial intervention.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the paper has seen a decline in circulation (38% between March to April) which was linked to the loss of bulk free distribution to sites such as airports, gyms and railway stations.

However, the i stands firm to the founding principles on which the publication was built.

Paying tribute to the paper’s short history, Duff said: “There is much we can improve on. As ever, your criticism and ideas are precious. They have helped to transform i from a rough start-up with uncertain prospects into a viable alternative for national media.

“The i stands for independent journalism: free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence, honest reporting with a progressive view of the world.” 

Launched as a sister paper to The Independent in 2010, i was acquired by JPIMedia (formerly Johnston Press) in 2016. It was subsequently bought by Daily Mail and General Trust in November 2019.

Simon Kelner, the paper’s launch editor in 2010 and now an i columnist said, “i’s enduring success has been due in no small part to the active engagement, support and advice from our readers. They should feel as proud as we do on reaching this milestone.”

Over the past ten years, i has played host to a wealth of columnists including the late Deborah Orr, who posthumously won a Press Award this year.