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When is a newspaper worth £2?

The price of papers dominates media coverage in The Independent on Sunday today, with Peter Cole worrying about the future of the 50p Evening Standard while Tim Luckhurst finds the Sunday Times at £2 is value for money.

Luckhurst produces strong arguments , with excellent and thoughtful quotes, that the Sundays are different and offer exceptional value for money, with the Sunday Times last week offering 598 pages for its £2 price. This comes on the week when the IoS rises by 10p to £1.80.

But I do argue with his price comparison choice for the value of quality titles. “When most of us are happy to spend £2.99 on the instant gratification of a cup of coffee from Starbucks, that sounds ostensibly reasonable,” he writes.

By comparison all the Sundays are exceptional value for money, but surely most of us are not happy to pay £2.99 for a cup of Starbucks coffee. Over-sized, over-priced and weak is the description which comes to mind, and I don’t think that is what he intended to say about the ST or IoS.

Peter Cole looks at the freebies, News International’s thelondonpaper and London Lite, and the competition they offer to the paid-for Standard. He concludes: “The way Associated [owners of London Lite and the Standard] has loaded the dice against the Standard, it looks more like that is the paper being spoiled.”

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