The 'i': New daily newspaper launches in the UK today

The 'i' is a new daily newspaper, available Monday to Friday and created by The Independent. Smarta got its hands on a copy this morning. It looks like just another free newspaper, truth be told. Except that it costs 20p. Alexander Lebedev, director of Independent Print, writes of the new daily: "My commitment is to a strong, vibrant free press as well as creating innovative media ventures with first class journalism."

Let's see.

Today's cover boasts five top stories, including "Is Bert gay?" and "How to think like a child". Hm. Cutting edge journalism at its best. The headline reads: "The housing crisis of Coalition Britain" (The Metro led with "Nurse Mumsy's animal rights reign of terror"). However, the design is very strong. The bite-size stories give you a round-up of all the morning's news, and we love the colour palette. Business should always be pink.

It has to be said, the 'i' (what possessed the Lebedevs to limit the name of their new paper to a single character? More importantly, will Apple sue?) is like a Pret half sandwich. After consumption, you're still hungry for more. The little news items begin to grate as you turn over the page for more meat on the bones of the story. But this is a paper designed for today's time-poor, attention-poorer skimmers.

We love: the features section in the middle. Today's piece on Mel Gibson is rather good. And we like the '10 best cookbooks for winter' list.

We hate: The cheap ink that comes off on your hands. The unsatisfying 'news in brief' nuggets.

Simon Kelner, editor-in-chief of the new paper, says: "It's the perfect way for an intelligent person to start the day - and at a much more affordable price that a cappuccino" - with none of the caffeine though, Simon.

Still, at 55 pages, it's a substantial first issue of the paper, and judging by the quantity of ads, there's a good number of advertisers looking to give this new product a whirl. It doesn't appear to have its own website - content will no doubt be housed on the existing Independent site. A smart move as this will boost traffic and ad revenues for the ailing title.

We'll keep an eye on the i and let you know how it's first week of life goes.

Is this a visionary new paper? Or will it be gone in a blink? Tell us your views below.

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