The Independent is your favourite weekly newspaper containing the very best sports and news for the West Country.
IT’S late on a Saturday night. Across the nation, remote controls stand ready to hit the ‘1’ button for Match of the Day. But in an office in Liskeard, a small team of journalists is watching as a different button is pressed.
It’s the button marked ‘print’. Independent production manager Phil Cowling pushes it, and another edition is consigned to our printers. Through the night, the presses in Dorset will whirr and a fleet of vehicles will take a new Independent to supermarkets and newsagents from Bristol to Penzance.
In the office, Sports Editor John Collings leads a collective sigh of relief: what he calls ‘the weekly miracle’ has been achieved again.
For there is something of the air of a miracle about it.
The office is the hub of a remarkable operation in which a small army of correspondents reports on matches in leagues in Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, aided by a group of photographers armed with state-of-the-art technology. These correspondents are covering around 30 different sports every week, all reflected in the Independent’s packed pages.
Their articles and photos come into the Liskeard office, where journalists put together what seems like a giant jigsaw puzzle. John and Assistant Editor Stuart Fraser are monitoring what’s coming in and fielding phone calls as well as watching agency feeds on screen.
Part of the jigsaw is, of course, the paper’s advertising content. Because of its active and committed family of 45,000 readers, the Independent presents a great platform for businesses to publicise their products and services and raise their profiles.
Income from advertising, of course, is a vital part of the Independent as a business and essential in fulfilling its role as a key supporter of West Country sport.
The Independent’s team of sales professionals seek to support and help valued customers prepare their message. Adverts are designed and processed in-house, led by production manager Phil.
A key part of the Independent’s content is generated by readers and supporters, and Assistant Editor Stuart Fraser welcomes news and photographs of events across the region.
Public relations professionals from the Government to the local fund-raising charity rely on the Indy’s news pages to publicise their cause.
Everything comes together on a Saturday, a day that starts quietly and builds to a frantic crescendo as the clock turns inexorably.
Stamped through the business like the message in a stick of seaside rock, this week and every week, is this: the aim to play a part in the West Country’s life, to be a key supporter of, and participant in, West Country sport and business, to be here as we have been for more than 200 years, entertaining and informing readers.
Your support keeps the team going – but more than that, your support of the paper is a key part of the process of local and regional sport too, enabling leagues to survive with publicity and with the circulation of the information we all need.
The Independent. A weekly miracle for more than 200 years. We hope lots more of you will be part of it.
I’M overjoyed that the old paper is still with us.
The Indy has always meant a lot to me and I have nothing but good memories of my time there. It’s fair to say I learned my trade under Harley Lawer and also cut my teeth on a feast of stories among dedicated people in the office and out on the patch. It was always a special part of the local scene and the affection people had for it has shone through it recently. There is still a big future for local papers, especially in a proud area with such a strong sporting history. It’s fitting that a man with local knowledge and a football club among his businesses is in charge. And it’s also a relief that the people who get the paper out against the odds every week with such devotion and professionalism are part of it, too.
Former Sunday Independent trainee Alan Nixon, now a football writer with The Sun
MY love affair with the Indy goes back to 1993 when I was with Torquay United. Living in Cornwall, I look forward to reading it every Sunday morning as it keeps me informed about the South West League clubs and all the non-League football in the area. I read every column – even the rugby!
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock
THE Sunday Independent has always been an important source of news and information for the Green Army, so it is good to hear that it will be continuing to fulfil that role.
Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams
THE Independent is a really thorough read on a Sunday, and it always makes good reading when Exeter have got a win.
Paul Tisdale, Exeter City manager