The i newspaper is to put up its cover price to 60p next week as its editor blamed the rising cost of importing newsprint and the loss of advertising revenue to the likes of Facebook for the 10p hike.
In a column editor Oliver Duff said the higher newsstand price would come into effect from Monday, 4 September, but subscription rates would be frozen at 31p a copy for the next four months.
He said of the price hike: “This is mainly because of rising bills for the raw materials we use, as well as the growing costs of undertaking quality journalism in a difficult environment…
According to Duff the price of newsprint went up by 6 per cent in January with some “steeper climbs” on its components, such as recycled fibre, because of competition from other markets.
He added: “Much British newsprint is sourced from Scandinavia or north America, the pound’s weakening against the dollar and euro has had an impact.”
Duff said paid-for journalism in the UK is facing “an unprecedented challenge from the avalanche of free, and often not very good, articles online”.
“The types of journalism that hold the powerful to account and shine a spotlight on society are of little interest to many digital media, especially platforms like Facebook which gobble advertising revenue without any regard for the social contract that once existed between reader and publisher.”
He said the increase in cover price would allow Johnston Press to “cover the rising costs of making i, safeguard against fluctuations in the advertising market… and invest again in the paper”.
Duff also confirmed the i newspaper is set to launch a new Saturday newspaper, priced at 80p, that will offer “a substantially stronger package” for the weekend but with no supplements.
The i’s price mid-week price rise will mean it will be 10p more expensive than the UK’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, 5p more expensive than the Daily Mail, but 10p cheaper than the Daily Mirror.