Friday, 12 February 2016

The Indy and Indy on Sunday to cease print publication in March

Today's edition of the Indy. Photo by Peter Adams

It has been confirmed that the Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers are to cease printing in March. Launched in 1986, the papers have been owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010.

It is understood that the Indpendent/IoS are to become the first British national newspapers to become fully digital. This all comes just 5 months after it was reported Independent newspaper increased its cover price by 20p.

The paper's spin-off publication, the i Newspaper is reportedly going to be sold by Mr Lebedev, to Johnston Press, for a deal worth £25m, as reported by the Guardian.

The i newspaper has experienced more fortune than its mother paper. The i was launched in October 2010, as a cut-price alternative to the Independent, known affectionately by its readers as "the Indy".

The i started with a cover price of 20p from Mondays to Fridays, but in recent times, it has extended its print run to Saturdays, and the cover price has risen to 40p for week-day editions.

It's the first major closure of a printed national newspaper, since the complete closure of the News of the World, amidst the phone hacking scandal in July 2011.

An audit by ABC back in June 2015 revealed the possible reason for the 20p cover price hike, and was grim reading. The audit confirmed that the Indy had seen a tumble in print readership.

In the middle of 2015, the audit found that the Indy had readership of approximately 57k readers per issue, compared with over 220k readers for editions of the i newspaper. Some sources have reported that the Indy's readership has fallen by an eye-watering 85% since its peak in 1990.

The move into a wholly-digital format will be a exciting new venture for the Indy, but many have turned to Twitter, to voice their sadness at the shift.

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