The Independent's mission has never been more vital

Asia's Tech News Daily

The Independent has had its share of plaudits and praise, and endured criticism too – some constructive, some more what they call in legal circles “vulgar abuse”. Probably the greatest compliment paid to us was unintended, and came from the ever-fluent Tony Blair. Back in June 2007, as he was nearing the end of his premiership, the then prime minister evidently thought he might as well level a parting shot at the media on the way out. In a speech, he picked The Independent for especial attention as an example of a journalistic “feral beast”.

© Angela Christofilou/The Independent

A protester on a rally for a second EU referendum in October 2019

– Angela Christofilou/The Independent

This rather surprised us, as we’d always thought ourselves a civilised sort of family. A brief newsroom campaign to get T-shirts made up saying “FERAL BEAST” fizzled out. Maybe just as well. Warming to his theme, Mr Blair declared: “The Independent is absolutely entitled to print what it wants, on the Middle East or anything else. But it was started as an antidote to the idea of journalism as views, not news. That was why it was called The Independent. Today it is avowedly a viewspaper, not merely a newspaper. The final consequence of this is that it is rare today to find balance in the media.”

It was flattering, in a way, to be attacked by Mr Blair, and gratifying that he had got things so wrong. Our stance on Iraq – opposition to war from the start – was unusual in Fleet Street, and it had obviously rankled him as events transpired to vindicate The Independent’s stand. Perhaps he was especially annoyed by the “impact” front page on the flawed Hutton report into the war, mostly blank with the simple headline in blood red: “WHITEWASH?” The only thing wrong with that was the question mark.

Not for the first time, or the last, Mr Blair misunderstood the job of the journalist. The Independent was established not as an antidote to the idea of journalism as views, but rather as a necessary corrective to proprietorial influence and narrow political allegiance. The clue is in the famous advertising slogan coined for The Independent’s launch in 1986 – “It is. Are you?” It still is, by the way.

© Provided by The Independent Osama bin Laden, photographed during an interview with Robert Fisk in 1993 (Robert Fisk)

The Independent has of course evolved, but we remain proud of the standard of our journalism and the bravery of our correspondents. This has especially been the case in our coverage of world events. It was courageous, as well as smart story-getting, for Robert Fisk to track Osama bin Laden back in the 1990s, and to try and warn the world about this bizarre and dangerous fanatic. Robert, who died almost a year ago, leaves behind a formidable legacy of work. It was brave, too, and prescient, for Patrick Cockburn to identify the emergence of Islamic State/Isis, which he did before any other media outlet had noticed its deadly potential.

Bel Trew, in Beirut, was able to report movingly about the manmade disasters that have once again destroyed the beautiful city she calls home. The explosion that ripped through the Lebanese capital last year killed hundreds, injured thousands, and caused billions of pounds’ worth of damage. Here, she recounts what happened: “Haloed by the lights from their mobile phones, the medical staff at St George University Hospital picked through the dead to carry injured patients and colleagues on bed sheets through the ravaged remains of the nine-storey building.

“Outside, a tidal wave of wounded coming out of the building crashed into the wave of wounded coming in from the surrounding neighbourhoods. In the middle, dazed medics, still stained with blood, set up a makeshift triage centre in the car park to treat both.”

© Provided by The Independent A scene of destruction after the Beirut explosion in August 2020 (Bel Trew)

Most recently, Kim Sengupta stayed in Kabul after the retreat of western forces, the better to tell the story of that contemptible betrayal of the Afghan people, just as he was first to the execution of Colonel Gaddafi and much else in decades with The Independent.

This is how he described the desperate plight of those trying to flee Afghanistan at Kabul airport after the Taliban seized control. It’s quoted at length as an exemplar of the style and quality of Independent journalism over the years:

“The woman looked around with an anguished cry, frightened, seeking familiar faces as she stumbled out of the crowd. She tried to speak but no words would come out: then she fell to the ground, her hand raised in supplication.

“The hopes this mother of three young children had of escaping a grim and uncertain future in Afghanistan, and starting a new life abroad with her family, had ended on a dusty road full of rubble in front of strangers, most of whom were so busy with their own troubles that they did not even notice what had happened.

“Among those who did were the British soldiers from the Parachute Regiment. They ran and dragged her clear to give first aid. They put her on a stretcher and put a sun-screening sheet over her body. But it was too late: the sheet was soon pulled up over her face to become a shroud.

© Provided by The Independent A militia fighter in Afghanistan this summer as the Taliban swept across the country (Kim Sengupta)

“‘My wife, my wife, what has happened to her?’ cried a man rushing forward. He tore at the sleeves of his brown salwar-kameez in his grief. The soldiers held him back and made him sit down, two of them knelt with their arms around him.

“‘Why did she die? Why not hospital? Why is this happening to us? What is going to happen to our children?’ the man asked through his tears. ‘I am sorry, we did the best we could, we really did,’ said one of the soldiers. The other said, ‘My heart breaks for you, mate.’

“This was another death in the chaos outside Kabul airport as thousands try to flee on evacuation flights organised by the US, UK and other foreign governments for those who are believed to be in danger from the Taliban.”

Journalists on The Independent have always, to borrow a phrase, tried to entertain, inform and even, respectfully, educate our readers. Today, to offer a few examples, it is what Tom Peck does in his political sketches and columns, as shown when he had the excruciating task of trying to satirise Theresa May’s disastrous conference speech in 2017: “It was a nightmare so richly layered it was almost as if it had been directed by Christopher Nolan. Time passed, seconds warped into hours, and as Theresa May moved deeper and deeper down through the levels of her own never-ending anxiety dream it became impossible to see how she might ever find her way out.”

Simon Calder, “the man who pays his way”, is the best in the business, still building an impressive army of intrepid followers, and Miguel Delaney and Melissa Reddy bring to the world of sport the same kind of thoughtfulness and forthright commentary that the late Jim Lawton did for The Independent for many years. It can be witnessed in this column by Melissa on “taking the knee”: “That these men, with 15 of the squad aged 25 or under, will not be booed out of their beliefs ahead of a career milestone offers hope that the future can be less ugly than the present and the past. It would be the easy option for them to press eject, wear a ‘no room for racism’ shirt and simply stick to football when focus is paramount.

© Provided by The Independent Our correspondent Melissa Reddy interviews Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (Supplied)

“Who wants to be booed by their own ahead of doing an intensely pressured job on a major scale that is broadcast to millions around the globe? None of them need this, least of all the black and mixed-race players that are tired from wearing this heavy battle since birth. The constant fighting, the educating they’re told to do, and the sea of ignorance they are met with while also being routinely dehumanised.”

We’ve also never been scared to stand up for what we believe in, or to put the force of our journalism behind a cause we believe is worth fighting for. In 2018, as Brexit emerged as something very different from the promises of the Vote Leave campaign, we backed a campaign for a second referendum to give the public the chance to have the Final Say. That push gained huge support, with more than a million backing our petition, huge marches taking over swathes of central London, and major political parties putting a referendum into their Brexit policies. Though that was a battle that was ultimately lost, the various crises attributed to our EU exit over the past 12 months show why we stand by our call, at the time, to give voters the Final Say.

The Independent has also helped drive change for mothers and babies at risk on maternity wards. While uncovering a series of safety scandals, we pushed the government to put money towards more stringent training for doctors and nurses. That pressure, over almost 18 months of reporting, led to a victory in March this year, with the promise of almost £100m to make hospitals safer for mothers and their children.

© Provided by The Independent Our Final Say campaign brought more than a million onto the streets of London (Angela Christofilou/The Independent)

The spirit of innovation that saw The Independent break the newspaper industry’s cosy status quo in 1986 has had to be renewed time and again. The Independent was the first broadsheet to adopt a compact layout, the first to produce a cut-down news digest in the form of the i newspaper, and the first to embrace a fully digital future.

The pivot to online and the accompanying investment has allowed us to project our founding values globally in a way that was inconceivable 35 years ago. From an audience counted in tens of thousands when the newspaper closed, The Independent’s readership now numbers tens of millions. The rise and fall of Donald Trump has brought us American readers who see us as a trusted, authoritative source at a time when “mainstream media” is being derided by demagogues and populist bullies. The Independent’s US team has expanded too, with bureaus on both east and west coasts, as well as in Washington DC, at the heart of political power. Our reporters were there as the Trump administration fell apart, with Rudy Giuliani giving his press conference outside a Philadelphia landscaping firm, and among the rioters who stormed the US Capitol in January. Our journalism was even cited in Trump’s impeachment trial.

In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, more readers than ever turned to our website for the facts on an emerging crisis without scaremongering or alarmism, valuing a news source that places veracity above clicks. We’ve shone a light on the pressures on the NHS and its patients, bringing the full story from inside hospitals, as well as concerns over mass testing, the implementation of lockdowns, and how government policy has hit the most vulnerable.

© Provided by The Independent The Independent was the first major UK title to embrace a fully digital future (AFP/Getty)

Across the board, we’ve grown while others have consolidated, determined to bring more breadth and expertise to our reporting, employing more journalists with each year as we’ve taken on the digital challenge and thrived. With a large team in Delhi adding to our offices in London, New York and Los Angeles – and planned expansion in Taiwan and Australia – Independent journalism will soon span every time zone.

Our trusted journalism, which was once only available from newsagents, now comes to millions through our online articles, podcasts and newsletters, along with our Daily Edition and Premium apps, all informed by the same principles and ideals we adopted on day one. Independent TV, a new home for our high-quality video, has gained hundreds of millions of viewers since its launch last December.

We’ve reported and commented on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the atrocities of 9/11, on the rise and fall of Thatcherism, of Blair’s New Labour, and of Brexit. Unlike some, we’re still going, and our reputation goes before us.

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Siegenthaler mit Assist bei nächster Niederlage – Canucks mit Befreiungsschlag

© keystone Teaserbild © keystone Bild New Jersey – Ottawa 2:3nP Nico Hischier, 2 Checks, 1 Block, 16:25 TOI Jonas Siegenthaler, 1 Assist, 2 Checks, 21:19 TOI​ Die New Jersey ... Read more »

Woman slams ‘cheeky' parents for demanding time off over Christmas & school holidays – but splits opinion

A WOMAN has insisted annual leave from work should always be given on a “first come, first served” basis – and that parents should never be given preferential treatment for ... Read more »

‘Rainbow Trust made dark days brighter': How charity drove mum 100 miles a week to visit her baby in hospital

Knowing her tiny baby was hooked to machines in a hospital miles away after undergoing emergency surgery, Kelly Stoor was filled with anguish at not being able to be by ... Read more »

Covid vaccine: 6.4 million people in UK remain completely unvaccinated despite being eligible, data shows

More than ten per cent of the UK population eligible for vaccination are yet to receive their first dose, according to data analysed by i. © Provided by The i ... Read more »

Husband struggling to get Covid booster jab for housebound wife feels there's no ‘plan' for vulnerable at home

A man who has been trying to get his housebound wife a Covid booster jab for months has told i he feels there is no plan to vaccinate vulnerable patients ... Read more »

NHS patients ‘left in pain and limbo' after 13,000 operations cancelled over last two months

An “alarming” 13,000 NHS operations have been cancelled in the last two months alone as patients who had prepared themselves for vital hip, knee and other types of planned surgery, ... Read more »

Elon Musk Said Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles ‘Extremely Silly': Some Experts Now Disagree

Jae C Hong/AP Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles “extremely silly,” referring to the technology as “fool sells,” but it is becoming apparent that not ... Read more »

Booster shots may be needed to keep fully vaccinated status in Australia in future

Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP Senate inquiry also hears there are ‘no definite signals’ Omicron more severe than other Covid variants Get our free news app; get our morning email briefing A ... Read more »

Paradise lost! State of emergency is declared for ALL of Hawaii as huge storm barrels in, bringing winds, downpours and floods as beaches empty and residents are warned to prepare to evacuate

The National Weather Service said that a low pressure system looming over all of Hawaii's islands threatens 'catastrophic flooding' in the coming daysGovernor David Ige issued a state of emergency for the entire archipelago on Monday, telling residents to stock up on supplies and prepare to evacuate Up to 25 inches of rain is forecast in some areas, with wind speeds of up to 55mph that forecasters warn could down tree limbs  'This is an extreme weather event,' said Adam Weintraub, a spokesman for the Hawaii Emergency Management AgencyWeintraub said that officials are preparing for 'fast water rescues' in significantly-flooded areas'Numerous' landslides were predicted by the National Weather Service: 'Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding.' the service saidAbout 8,287 people were without power on Maui as of 1.30 am on Tuesday, according to poweroutage.us, up from about 5,000 on Monday afternoon  Read more »

Portland police tells woke city's crime victims they're on their own: Residents warned of delayed responses to all but the most serious 911 calls due to spiraling crime and staff shortages amid record-breaking murder rate

Portland residents faced longer wait times for 911 calls that didn't concern imminent threats to life or property on Monday The Portland PD attributed the delays to 'critical' staffing shortages 'due to budget cuts... and the backlog of needed training for new officers'On Friday, the city hit the grim milestone of 80 murders this year, surpassing the its all-time high of 67 killings attained for the entire year of 1987 Last year, the department lost 84 officers, who retired or quit, when the Portland City Council cut their budget by $15 million$5.2 million was restored to the budget last monthMayor Ted Wheeler said that 'many Portlanders no longer feel safe in their city' when he advocated for the increase Read more »

Akhmetov Wants To Beat Kingad, Then Finish Business With Moraes

© ONE Championship Exclusive photos from Kazakh flyweight Kairat Akhmetov and South Korean star Dae Hwan Kim’s MMA fight at ONE: COLLISION COURSE II on 25 December Fourth-ranked flyweight contender ... Read more »

COVID-19 Update: MOH to stop daily press releases ‘as current wave of Delta infections subside'

© The Independent Singapore Singapore —The Ministry of Health said on Monday night (Dec 6) that it would stop issuing daily press releases about Covid-19 infection statistics “as the current ... Read more »

'I'm confident we've made improvements' - Leinster look to close gap on Europe's elite

© Ben Brady INPHO Stuart Lancaster keeps watch during a Leinster training session on Monday. AS OPENING CHAMPIONS Cup weekends go, Leinster’s could hardly look kinder. On Saturday the province ... Read more »

Average deposit for first-time buyers exceeded €52,000 in first half of 2021

© Shutterstock THE AVERAGE DEPOSIT amount for a first-time buyer in the first half of 2021 was almost €52,100 and €135,000 for a mover-purchaser. The latest Banking and Payments Federation ... Read more »

LIVE: 'Remain indoors' alert now in place in Status Red counties as Storm Barra makes landfall

© Alamy Stock Photo STORM BARRA IS making its presence felt across the country, with the strongest winds being experienced in the south-west this morning where Status Red warnings are ... Read more »

Spectacular Chinese lantern festival lights up French town of Blagnac

The festival goes back to the time of the Tang Dynasty, between the 7th and 10th centuries. Read more »

Man Utd transfer round-up: Ralf Rangnick closes in on first arrival

Manchester United’s new era under Ralf Rangnick got under way with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday. The German will see the squad through until, at least, the ... Read more »

Tommy Fury breaks silence after pulling out of Jake Paul fight and reveals he's been suffering from a chest infection

'HEARTBROKEN' Tommy Fury has broken his silence after pulling out of his fight with Jake Paul. The British star, 22, is suffering with a bacterial chest infection AND a broken ... Read more »

Cambodian strongman to visit Myanmar for talks with junta

© An Khoun SamAun Cambodian strongman Hun Sen will travel to Myanmar for talks in January, his spokesman has said Cambodian strongman Hun Sen will travel to Myanmar for talks ... Read more »

Mystery surrounds students' drowning

© Provided by SowetanLive There were no screams or alarming sounds coming from the pool where the bodies of two college students were found at a North West hotel last ... Read more »

Nearly 6,400 new Covid-19 cases, nine deaths in 24 hours, says NICD

© Provided by SowetanLive The new infections came at a positivity rate of 26.4%. According to the NICD, the epicentre of the fourth wave of infections continues to be Gauteng, ... Read more »

Isolating? Here are four festive tech ideas to help stay in touch

© Provided by Times Live However, help is at hand. The head of high touch end user at Logitech video conferencing products and services, Charis Nicholas, has urged South Africans ... Read more »

Indore Street Vendor Makes Ice Cream With Mirchi And Nutella, Netizens Are Disgusted | Watch

© Ritu Singh | Trending Desk Viral Video: These days, bizarre food combinations have become the new trend on social media platforms. And in the desire to go viral, some ... Read more »

How Dubai's commercial property market is at an inflection point

© Motivate Publishing director crc After an uncertain year due to the global pandemic, 2021 has seen a big shift for Dubai’s commercial property market, with an increase in prices ... Read more »

Meghan Markle shares personal connection with 'Pearl' Netflix series

Meghan Markle chose “Pearl” as the working title for her project with Netflix because it speaks of herself. © Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Pricne Harry and Meghan Markle The Duke and ... Read more »

Queen and corgis 'risk wolf or bear encounter under Chris Packham's rewild call'

The Queen and her corgis could be at risk from being attacked by bears and wolves on royal estates if they are to be made wild under a call from ... Read more »

Best hot water bottles 2021: From personalised to velvet options

(Unsplash) In the words of Hungarian humorist George Mikes: continental people have sex lives, the English have hot water bottles. And why not? Who doesn’t love a hot water bottle ... Read more »

Katrina Kaif – Vicky Kaushal Wedding food menu leaked; Veggies and fruits from ABROAD high in demand at the GRAND shaadi

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal are getting married on 9th December at Six Senses Resort in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan. The pre-wedding ceremonies like mehndi and sangeet ... Read more »

FS in Bangladesh ahead of President's visit

© Provided by The Statesman FS in Bangladesh ahead of President’s visit Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla left here today on a two-day visit to Bangladesh during which he will ... Read more »

‘Kamu angkuh, lagak macam menteri hingga ahli perniagaan tolak kerajaan PH', Dr M beritahu Pua

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata Tony Pua sepatutnya tahu batas tanggungjawab sebagai setiausaha politik namun bertindak sebaliknya. PETALING JAYA: Beberapa jam selepas dikritik pemimpin DAP, ... Read more »

Army's Botched Ambush in ‘Peaceful' Nagaland May Affect Security Forces' Relations with Locals

© Provided by News18 Army’s Botched Ambush in ‘Peaceful’ Nagaland May Affect Security Forces’ Relations with Locals While Indian Army’s botched operation in Nagaland led to the death of 14 ... Read more »

Omicron scare: 3 more international travellers admitted to LNJP Hospital in Delhi

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Three more international travellers — two COVID-19 positive and another suspected case — were admitted on Monday to the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak ... Read more »

Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai And Other Actresses In Relationships With Younger Men

Katrina Kaif is five years older than groom-to-be Vicky Kaushal. They are not the first celebrity couple to wed, where the bride is elder to the groom. Scroll ahead to ... Read more »

Abhilash Thapliyal talks about his role in web series 'Faadu'

© IANS Abhilash Thapliyal. Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) Actor and host Abhilash Thapliyal will be seen in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s upcoming web series ‘Faadu’. He is currently shooting for ‘Faadu’ ... Read more »

Lord Bobby 'Attended' Vicky-Katrina's Wedding and This is What They Did to Him

© Provided by News18 Lord Bobby ‘Attended’ Vicky-Katrina’s Wedding and This is What They Did to Him The impending wedding of Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal has grabbed ... Read more »

'Welcome Home Kisses': Rashika Mandana's Dog Can't Love Her Enough As She Returns

© Provided by News18 Actor Rashmika Mandanna is waiting for the release of her upcoming film Pushpa: The Rise wherein she plays the female lead. And despite being busy ahead ... Read more »

'Border' could not cross Attari border as Pakistan denies entry to couple over lack of documents

© Provided by Zee News NEW DELHI: The Pakistan government has denied entry to a Pakistani couple, which is among several others stranded at the Attari border for over 70 ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal wins hearts as he sends food prepared by his chef for the paparazzi

© Provided by Radio City Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif`s wedding is one grand Bollywood event we are waiting for! The duo has been making multiple public appearances, yet being ... Read more »

Odisha reports 44% increase in new COVID-19 cases: Recoveries inch close to 99%

© Provided by The Statesman Odisha reports 44% increase in new COVID-19 cases: Recoveries inch close to 99% The COVID-19 cases in the coastal State increased substantially by around 44% ... Read more »

Video: Virgil Abloh's memorial service: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Drake lead A-listers paying respect to the iconic Louis Vuitton and Off-White fashion designer in his hometown of Chicago

Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic