Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Independent editor: Many of our journalists will continue writing for website

Published 13/02/2016

The Independent will go online on March 26
The Independent will go online on March 26

The editor of The Independent has told readers many of the newspaper's journalists will continue working on the website - but said he could not mention names because they are "in negotiation".

A source close to the business said about 75 jobs are at risk in the wake of the decision to close the print editions of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.

The owners of the newspapers confirmed on Friday that the print version of the titles will close, leaving an online-only edition.

In a letter to The Independent's "treasured" print readers, editor Amol Rajan said he realises news that the newspaper is to cease its print edition will have come as "a shock".

He wrote: "The simple fact is, there just aren't enough people who are prepared to pay for printed news, especially during the week. With our circulations and advertising down, very substantially, the future of our print edition would inevitably be one of managing decline."

He added: "Many of our world-class journalists will continue writing just the same amount of journalism over on independent.co.uk. I can't mention them now because we are in negotiation - but I hope to update you soon."

ESI Media said The Independent, launched in 1986, will become "the first national newspaper title to move to a digital-only future".

The Independent on Sunday will go online only on March 20, with The Independent following on March 26.

The move comes after the paper's owners, Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, agreed a deal to sell its cut-price sister paper i to regional publisher Johnston Press for around £24 million.

The Independent newspapers are part of the group owned by the Lebedev family, who have other media assets including the Evening Standard and local TV station London Live.

In his letter a day after the news was announced, Mr Rajan said: "I know it is a hard thing to say here and now, but I want the message to go out loud and clear that even after we cease to print, in spirit and in impact this great newspaper will live on."

He added: "All I can say is we will deliver great journalism until the very end. That is because we have the most kind, industrious, dedicated and brave staff in the history of Fleet Street."

ESI Media said as a result of the move it will create 25 new digital content roles, launch a new subscription mobile app and continue to invest in quality journalism.

It added that due to the expansion of independent.co.uk new editorial bureaux will open in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and its US operation will be boosted.

The group said the Evening Standard is unaffected by the move, "which continues to grow as a profitable and successful newspaper brand in its own right".

The Independent was launched by a group of journalists led by Andreas Whittam Smith. It enjoyed initial success rising to a circulation passing 400,000 by 1988, and claimed it was free from proprietorial influence.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph