Around 100 journalists are set to lose their jobs as Independent publishes its final print edition - Press Gazette

Around 100 journalists are set to lose their jobs as Independent publishes its final print edition

Around 100 journalists are expected to lose their jobs on Saturday when The Independent publishes its final print edition.

Most of the staff journalists on the Independent on Sunday, which produced its last edition this week, are understood to have already left.

The Independent and Independent on Sunday had 160 dedicated print journalists. Some 25 new jobs are being created on The Independent website, giving it a total headcount of around 75. Around 34 journalists are transferring with i to work for new owner Johnston Press.

Final confirmation of who is leaving and who is staying is expected to be made after the final Independent daily print edition goes to press tomorrow night.

A number of The Indendendent's best-known names are moving to the website on the same terms that they worked in print.

But Press Gazette understands that journalists lower down the pecking order have been offered online jobs at greatly reduced salaries.

Some insiders also have concerns about the nature of the online-only roles and a culture of audience and story-count targets.

Independent newspaper editor Amol Rajan is understood to be staying on as editor-at-large as are foreign correspondents Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk.

Ollie Wright will continue as political editor, as will Whitehall editor Charlie Cooper. Rupert Cornwell is to continue reporting from Washington, Simon Calder is set to continue as travel editor and Grace Dent is the only columnist who has been confirmed so far as moving across from print to online.

At this week’s Press Awards, in which the Independent titles and i won the chairman’s prize, Independent on Sunday editor Markwell put herself and her team on the market for jobs.

She said: “We are all up for hire, so if anyone is hiring you know where I am.”

Markwell, who became editor in 2013, is leaving alongside her number two James Hanning and New Review editor Mike Higgins.

Independent on Sunday production editor Keith Howitt is understood to be retiring after 25 years' service on the Independent titles.

Jane Merrick, a columnist for the Independent on Sunday and Independent and former political editor of the Independent on Sunday, is also leaving.

The Independent on Sunday’s political editor Tom McTague is joining Politico.

Media and assistant editor Ian Burrell is among those confirmed to be leaving The Independent, after 14 years in the role. Burrell joined the Independent in 1996 as home affairs editor. Burrell did not apply for a job on the website and is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Independent foreign editor David Wastell, who joined the Independent in 2014 from the Telegraph, is also understood to be leaving.

Virginia Ironside, who penned the Independent’s weekly Dilemmas column for 23 years, is also exiting. She told Press Gazette freelance contributors like her have been given "scant information" and no compensation.

National Union of Journalists national organiser, Laura Davison said: “The pay and conditions on the digital side are worse than on the print side. Experienced staff are being lost because of low budgets and current digital staff have concerns about pay, workloads and other issues.

“This will surely have an effect on the quality of the product. To succeed it will have to invest in journalism and there are few signs that this is part of the plan.”

The Independent did not respond to a request for comment.



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.