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Independent and Independent on Sunday print closures confirmed

12 February 2016

From The Guardian:

Evgeny Lebedev has confirmed that the Independent and Independent on Sunday will cease printing, with the last editions to be published in late March.

Lebedev, who also confirmed the sale of the cut-price national stablemate i to Johnston Press, did not reveal how many of the 150 full-time staff would lose their jobs.

Including regular casual staff it is thought that at this stage there will be about 111 redundancies, although this could change.

. . . .

At a staff meeting, which was not attended by Lebedev but included Indy co-founder Andreas Whittam Smith, Rajan said that it was a “painful day” but it was not economically viable to keep running the Indy print operation.

“The Independent’s journalism has never been more loved or respected but the costs cannot be sustained,” he reportedly said. “The Independent will prove critics wrong again on the road ahead”.

. . . .

“The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers,” said Lebedev. “They’re showing us that the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms.”

. . . .

Auckland added that talks would now begin to win over star writers such as Robert Fisk and Matthew Norman to continue to write for the digital-only Independent.

He also said that the website’s light-weight editorial approach, criticised by some of its own staff as a “click-bait operation”, would be re-focused to better match the quality tone of the print edition.

Lebedev said that the business will continue to “invest in quality journalism” opening new editorial bureaux in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as an expansion of the US operation.

Link to the rest at The Guardian and thanks to C. for the tip.

PG never likes to see people losing their jobs, but, at least in this case, the digital alternative means not everybody will lose theirs.


One Comments to “Independent and Independent on Sunday print closures confirmed”

  1. The i mentioned in the article is a tabloid-sized (not style) version of the Independent. Thought I would make this clear as, on its own, i looks a bit like a typo. And I know PG has many readers not as familiar with the newspaper industry in the UK as British readers.

    The Independent was a brave paper, often leading on the non-obvious story with a big picture dominating the front page. With its stated aim of no political bias, unlike the left-leaning Guardian or the right-leaning The Times, it walked a difficult but admirable line. But never did it reach the circulation of the above-mentioned broadsheets or The Telegraph and, I have to say, I didn’t find it as interesting to read either.

    I wish it well in its new digital endeavour. I wonder if it is the first of many or a lone casualty of falling circulation.

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