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Paper Monitor

11:48 UK time, Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Welcome to P, a new service highlighting the riches of the daily press, brought to you by Paper Monitor.

TODAY in a historic first! P will be reviewing i! It's all you could need in a potted paper review, based on the quality, convenience and desirability you demand in today's busy world.

So here goes! Wish us luck! i mostly has shorter paragraphs. Lots of tweets. And foreign news in just 10 stories. Plus in other news, did you know it's Bolivian president Evo Morales's 51st birthday?

That's the sort of thing you'll find out if you read i, the new paper launched by the Independent, on sale for the first time today at just one fifth of the price of the normal paper. The Independent, meanwhile , has taken a turn upmarket - thicker paper, black and white photos - to distinguish itself from the new competition.

So what's the point of i? Could this be just what the world has been waiting for - the paper to read when you haven't got the time to plough all the way through Metro?

In terms of tone, it feels somewhere in that "lite" gap that is part tabloid paper, part supplement, part easy-to-digest fast news. Though it says Independent above the door, it doesn't feel like it. The Indie, for instance, wouldn't have been so lame as to put a picture of Sesame Street's Bert on the cover asking "Is Bert Gay?" Page 10 dutifully reveals the answer (no).

Will i fly? Paper Monitor has often been wrong about these things, and always like to wish people well when they start on new ventures. Times are very difficult for newspapers, with circulations mostly falling month on month. But, just like the Bert question, the only honest answer is: "Err, who knows?"

There's one more thing to mention, though. Once upon a time, newspapers had names like newspapers - Chronicle, Herald, Journal, that sort of thing - but now it seems people will have to ask for an i.

That in particular feels like a bit of a stretch to PM. Who would be known by their initials?

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