London: Amid falling readership, one of Britain’s leading daily newspapers ‘The Independent’ today announced plans to go ‘digital only’ from next month.
Both ‘The Independent’ and ‘Independent on Sunday’ newspapers owned by ESI Media will be forced to make “some redundancies among editorial employees” but will also add 25 new “digital-content roles”.
ESI also confirmed it will sell its ‘i’ newspaper to Johnston Press, subject to approval from Johnston’s shareholders.
ESI’s Russian-born British owner Evgeny Lebedev 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,” he said.
Established in 1986, The Independent has a total circulation of around nearly 60,000, making it one of Britain’s least-read newspaper.
Struggling with falling readership, The Independent would be “the first national newspaper to embrace a global, digital-only future”.
The company also announced to launch a subscription mobile app soon. Meanwhile, writing on the Guardian’s website, professor of journalism Brian Cathcart predicted that all UK national newspapers would eventually go out of print.
“No one can say in what order it will happen, but it will happen to the most venerable titles, even to the top-selling Sun and Mail,” he said.