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Independent to cease as print edition

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Posted by BBC News web site

The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers are to cease print editions in March, the owner has said. Announcing a move to a “digital-only future", ESI Media said there would be “some redundancies among editorial employees". But it said there would also be 25 new “digital-content roles". ESI has also confirmed it will sell the i newspaper to Johnston Press, subject to approval from Johnston's shareholders.

Evgeny Lebedev, ESI's owner, said: “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."  

The last print edition of the Independent will be published on Saturday 26 March, while the last Independent on Sunday will be on 20 March.  

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DATELINE: 12 February, 2016


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Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said yesterday:
"Today’s announcement realises the worst fears of staff on the Independent and Independent on Sunday. To close these historic titles overnight after a deal clinched behind closed doors, without any consultation or attempts to engage with staff, demonstrates the contempt the company has for its workforce.
"For Evgeny Lebedev to laud closures that will see staff lose their livelihoods as an ‘historic transition’ is an added indignity. The fact that our national newspapers can be shut down overnight with no scrutiny and no ability for their future to be secured through other means, underlines the moral bankruptcy of newspaper ownership in the UK. That needs to be urgently addressed. The NUJ will do all it can to support all members affected."
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:
"The closure of the Independent titles is a massive blow to the industry. Experienced staff who have been committed to the idea and ideals of the titles, in some cases for decades, are facing losing their jobs in shocking circumstances.
"The public has been robbed of titles whose loss leaves press plurality, opinion and ownership narrowed and diminished. The way staff have had to learn about what's happening through the pages of other papers is simply appalling. We are calling on the company to enter into urgent talks with the NUJ, to meet their legal obligations and to treat their staff with humanity."
The Independent Chapel will meet on Monday 15 February.

Posted by: Barry White: 13 Feb, 2016 12:25:35

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