Shouldn't that headline read "Is The Independent going to become our news-free national paper?"? It's rapidly heading that way.
Combine two ingredients:
- The Guardian Media Group is getting out of providing free (bulk) copies of its newspapers in hotels, airports etc with speculation that they will be followed in this by News International, and
- The latest ABC figures show the Independent and Independent on Sunday increasingly dependent on bulk copies with their paid-for sales suffering.
Extrapolate forward a little in to the future, and what do you have? The Independent / Independent on Sunday becoming our national free newspaper whilst the other titles pull out of the area. It may be hard to make this niche into a viable business, but it would at least provide the titles with a distinctive niche that gets them out of the struggle to match rivals with greater financial resources on their own ground.