Delve into four decades of fearlessly independent journalism written from a unique political perspectiveThe Independent is a major British daily national newspaper, launched in 1986 as an antidote to its often overtly political rivals. Its evolution over a quarter of a century has been considerable, but the publication has also retained a unique position in British journalism. Featuring journalists and columnists from across the political spectrum, the paper is generally regarded as centrist, presenting fresh, alternative views on the free market, social issues, and culture.
Over the last thirty years, the Independent has taken strong campaigning positions on issues such as drug legislation, the war on terror, and the environment. It received the Newspaper of the Year award in 1987 by What the Papers Say Awards, a BBC radio and television program. It received the award during its first full year of publication, and by the end of 1988, its circulation had risen to more than 400,000. This success led to the launch of The Independent on Sunday in January 1990.
In the 1990s, The Independent scored a series of scoops when it published three separate interviews by its Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk with a then little-known Osama bin Laden. In British politics, it has been a strong advocate of electoral reform, arguing that the UK's first-past-the-post system and unelected House of Lords are not suited to a modern democracy.
In 2004 The Independent was again named newspaper of the year in recognition of its "constant and brave" editorial stance.
Key campaigns include:
- Against the 2003 invasion of Iraq
- Criticism of US and UK foreign and domestic policy related to the War on Terror following the September 11th attacks
- Demands for UN intervention in Sarajevo in 1993 following the collapse of Yugoslavia
- Support for electoral reform
- Raising awareness of environmental issues, especially highlighting the dangers of climate change
- Against the introduction of ID cards
- Support for immigration to the UK, distinguishing itself against the mainstream British press
- The 1997 campaign in the Independent on Sunday for the decriminalisation of cannabis. The paper subsequently reversed its opinion a decade later because of stronger strains of "skunk" being smoked by young people
As part of Gale Historical Newspapers, The Independent Historical Archive, 1986–2012 brings a major alternative perspective to the news of the day presented in other Gale Historical Newspapers archives, particularly the more conservative and establishment-supporting views contained in The Times Digital Archive and the Daily Mail Historical Archive.
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